Deputies: Sangerfield couple high on bath salts, kids living in deplorable conditions

Jon VanNort

Investigators say an Oneida County couple was high on bath salts during a domestic dispute that led authorities to discover children allegedly living in deplorable conditions.

Oneida County Sheriff's deputies were called to a home on State Route 12 in the Town of Sangerfield early Tuesday morning.

They say Jon and Pearl VanNort were both impaired by a drug known as bath salts. Authorities say the couple's three children were home at the time.

Child Protective Services were called to the home and found what, deputies say, were deplorable living conditions. The three children, ages 4, 5 and 6 were removed from the home and taken to a family member's house.

Bath salts have become increasingly popular. Poison centers across the country have reported a growing number of calls about the drug.

Last May, the New York State Health Commissioner issued an order, banning the sale of bath salts. Officials say it packs as much punch as cocaine and methamphetamines when abused.

The substance is most often sold in small convenience stores. It causes hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, suicidal behavior and violence as well as chest pains and increased blood pressure.

As of now, there is no federal law prohibiting their sale. Sen. Charles of Schumer (D, New York) is pushing for a nationwide ban. Read more about what bath salts are and the dangers they pose.

As for this most recent case in Sangerfield, the VanNorts are charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. Pearl VanNort is also charged with criminal mischief for allegedly breaking a cell phone during the domestic dispute. They both also face drug charges.

The couple was arraigned in Sangerfield Town Court and sent to the Oneida County Jail on $500 bail.