Tanya McDowell, the homeless mother who created national headlines when she was accused of stealing her son's education, has now pleaded not guilty to drug charges.
Tanya McDowell, the homeless mother who grabbed national headlines after she was accused of stealing education for her son, is back in the news.
McDowell was in court on Monday and pleaded not guilty to separate drug charges that emerged last month, reports The Hour.
Police said McDowell was caught selling crack cocaine and marijuana to officers in Norwalk and Stamford on three occasions and was found with 30 bags of marijuana and about 2.84 grams of crack.
Her case is due back before a judge on Aug. 17 and a prosecutor could make an offer that might pertain not just to the drug charges, but also to the charge of education theft and conspiracy. A conviction on all the charges together could lead to a sentence of more than 20-years, the Hour reports.
McDowell originally made headlines when she was accused of using a false address to send her 5-year-old son to school in Norwalk, even though she was living in Bridgeport.
The case created a debate about education equality, with civil rights activists rallying in her defense.
Some said her drug arrest was in retaliation for the controversy and the negative attention Norwalk has received.
Norwalk police chief Harry Rilling strongly refutes those claims.
"I think this is just another smokescreen," Rilling told the Hour.