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Kids Roamed Car Unrestrained While Motorist Mom Video Chatted

A Utah mother with two young daughters is facing many charges after the police allegedly caught her driving during a video call while her children were without seatbelts.

19-year-old Gabriella Ann McKenzie is from Eagle Mountain. She has two daughters, ages 2 and 8 months.

In the evening on March 2, McKenzie was reportedly driving with her children in the back seat.

A Utah County Sheriff’s Office detective was on the road when they reportedly noticed McKenzie seemed as if she was operating her vehicle unsafely.

The detective was able to catch up to McKenzie’s car, and he believed he noticed a youngster moving around freely, suggesting she was not properly restrained.

After performing a traffic stop, the deputy asserted that he detected the aroma of marijuana emanating from the vehicle.

It was requested McKenzie step out of the vehicle with her children, who were allegedly not in car seats or seatbelts, so a search could be done.

Initially, McKenzie denied the officers the right to search her automobile but ultimately complied.

When the woman was taking her daughters out of the car, the officers allegedly watched her retrieve an object from a container. She reportedly tried to hide it in her clothing.

According to the Sheriff’s Office press release, the officers thought she might have a weapon, and McKenzie was immediately handcuffed.

McKenzie was searched, and a bag of a white powdery substance purported to be cocaine was reportedly discovered.

The police also allegedly found alcohol, marijuana, and paraphernalia inside the car during their inspection.

The youngsters were allowed to leave with McKenzie’s parents when they arrived at the scene.

McKenzie was taken into custody and booked into the Utah County Jail.

She is being held without bond, and McKenzie is charged with felony child endangerment, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, tampering with evidence, minor in possession of alcohol, purchase or possession of tobacco by a minor, failure to stay in one lane, driving on a suspended license, and use of a handheld device while operating a motor vehicle.

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

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