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New Mom Accused of Selling Drugs

April 26, 2000

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) _ A mother showed off her newborn daughter in a hospital’s nursery, then took an undercover drug agent to her room and sold him $650 worth of crack cocaine, federal authorities say.

Bonnie Herr, 20, faces federal charges of selling drugs at St. Luke’s Hospital nine hours after giving birth March 16. She was arrested and released Monday and is to appear in federal court Thursday.

She could get up to 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine on each of two counts, harsher punishment than usual because the hospital is within 1,000 feet of a school.

According to court documents, an informant and an undercover drug agent bought about 4 grams of crack from Herr at her apartment March 1.

The informant called Herr to make a buy a couple of weeks later and discovered she had gone to the hospital to give birth.

Gregory Brugman, a special agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, said he and the informant went to the hospital, where Herr pointed out her new daughter, then took them to her room.

Herr told the informant to watch the door and took several plastic bags out of her purse for Brugman, the agent said.

``Nobody can ever remember anything like this ever happening before,″ said hospital spokesman Mike Humbert.

No one answered the telephone at Herr’s apartment Wednesday morning.

Iowa Department of Human Services officials, citing confidentiality laws, refused to say whether they were involved in determining custody of the baby.