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Cops: Women had heroin, kids in vehicle

Mothers Tara Riley, 26, of Medford, left, and

Mothers Tara Riley, 26, of Medford, left, and Amanda Kosby, 27, are escorted from the Fifth Precinct in Patchogue for arraignment in Central Islip Criminal Court. Both are charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and endangering the welfare of a child. (March 21, 2013) Credit: James Carbone

Two women arraigned Thursday were barred from contacting their children after officers found them preparing to inject heroin in their parked vehicle while their children sat in the backseat, Suffolk police said.

Driver Tara Riley, 26, of Medford, and Amanda Kosby, 27, of North Bellport, were in a Ford Explorer outside an East Patchogue apartment complex about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday when they were approached by a pair of officers from the Fifth Precinct's Community Oriented Police Enforcement unit -- COPE.

Officers Stacey Copozzi and Christine Balsamo noticed Kosby had a hypodermic needle, and a closer look revealed the women had open bags of heroin, police said.

Kosby told the officers, "I shot up earlier. We were going to do one bag here," said Bob Clifford, spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney's office.

Her 5-year-old son and Riley's 4-year-old daughter were in the backseats, police said.

Kosby told police, "I never want to hurt my son. Please, I need rehab," Clifford said.

Each mother was charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument.

Bail was set at $1,500 cash or $3,000 bond for Riley and $1,000 cash or $2,000 bond for Kosby.

After the arrests, police said, the children were released to the custody of family members, and Child Protective Services was notified.

Orders of protection were granted against the two women, barring Kosby from contacting her son and Riley her daughter.

Kosby had two other recent drug arrests, on Nov. 8 and Jan. 31, court records show. On Feb. 1, she pleaded guilty to a single drug possession charge and began serving a 60-day sentence at the Suffolk County jail in Riverhead, a jail official said.

She gained an early release on March 11 for good behavior, the official said.

Kosby's guilty plea and jail sentence resolved both the November and January drug charges, records show.

Riley had a previous arrest Dec. 20 on a drug possession charge, and on Jan. 31 on a petty larceny charge, and was given desk appearance tickets.

In both cases she was released on her own recognizance and the cases remained pending as of Thursday, court records show.

With John Valenti

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