Police: Man shielded himself with child during drug arrest

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A West Palm Beach man is accused of shielding himself during an arrest with a 5-year-old child and hiding drugs on the child’s body.

On Friday morning, West Palm Beach police executed a search warrant at 5100 45th Street.

Police say one of the occupants, 30-year-old Fredrick James, shielded himself with a 5-year-old child by wrapping his arms around the child and carrying him against his chest.

The child was released without incident, but police say agents discovered packets of fentanyl/heroin hidden inside the child’s shirt and buttocks.

According to police, these are the same type of packets and drug that agents previously purchased, which allowed a search warrant to be obtained the previous day.

The child was decontaminated in a neighboring apartment’s shower immediately and two additional children inside the home were transported to a nearby hospital to be treated and decontaminated.

Police say they also found suspected heroin, fentanyl, and marijuana inside the home.

James is charged with several drug-related charges, including the sale of narcotics near a church or school, possession, tampering with evidence, and child endangerment.

He was released Saturday on $74,000 bond.