A man and woman accused of trying to exchange their children for money or drugs in Lancaster pleaded not guilty this week to felony charges.
Vincent Calogero, 38, and Sarah Nilson, 32, were arraigned on two felony charges each of attempted desertion of a child under 14; two misdemeanor counts each of child cruelty by endangering health and one count each of being under the influence of a controlled substance, an unspecified central nervous system stimulant.
They were ordered to return to the Lancaster courthouse on Wednesday for a bail hearing. Bail was set at $100,000 after the defendants were arrested about 4 p.m. Dec. 14. Deputies responded that afternoon to a report of possible child abuse in the 100 block of Avenue J-8, according to Ali Villalobos of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lancaster Station.
“Deputies contacted the suspects and determined … (they) had been attempting to give and/or sell their children in exchange for money or drugs,” Villalobos said.
The couple’s two juvenile sons were placed in the custody of the county Department of Children and Family Services, according to the sheriff’s department.
Detectives have since urged anyone with information about the case to call the Lancaster Station at (661) 948-8466 or (661) 940-3855. Anonymous tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers by calling (800) 222-TIPS.