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Parents Accused of Attempting to Trade Children for Drugs or Money

On Friday, the parents of two young boys who authorities allege tried to trade their children for money, or possibly drugs, have entered a plea of no contest to charges of felony attempted child abandonment.

Lancaster residents Vincent Calogero and Sarah Nilson, the parents of two toddlers, were reportedly under the influence of a controlled substance when they began offering the children to strangers. The sheriff’s department speculated that they were trying to give the boys away in order to obtain cash or narcotics.

Deputies dispatched to the family’s home to investigate reported child abuse and arrested 38-year-old Calogero and 32-year-old Nilson.

It was determined that the children, age 1 and 2, were living in an unstable environment, and they were placed in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services.

Calogero and Nilson were each charged with two felony counts of attempt to abandon a child, two misdemeanor counts of child endangerment, and one misdemeanor count of being under the influence of a central nervous system stimulant, to which they each responded with a plea of no contest. Nilson was released on her own recognizance. Calogero is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail, and is scheduled for a bail review hearing on Friday.

A plea agreement was reached, and it was determined that if they successfully attend and complete one year of drug-abuse treatment and a parenting program, commit no crimes and follow the orders issued by the court, their felony charges would be put under consideration for reduction to misdemeanors. They must complete these orders by or before their court date of June 27, 2019.

If you or someone you love is suspected of child neglect, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.