A Richland man is in jail after allegedly exposing his six-year-old son to fentanyl.

The Grant County Sheriff's Office says deputies were sent to a convenience store at the corner of State Routes 17 and 170 near Warden at around 2 p.m. on Wednesday where a man was reportedly passed out inside his vehicle.

"The six-year-old stepped into the store and told employees that he couldn't wake up his dad," says sheriff's office spokesperson, Kyle Foreman. "After that, two employees went out to the parking lot and tried to wake him and when they opened the driver's side door they could smell that something had burned inside the cab. Then, when Warden Police showed up, the guy woke up. Then our deputies arrived and saw what he'd been doing and he was taken into custody."

Foreman says 31-year-old Nicholas A. Boese was arrested for child endangerment using a controlled substance.

"Any time you expose a child to drugs that are being used, the child is at risk. In this case, the father was heating up the fentanyl on a piece of tinfoil and then inhaling the fumes. Those fumes were also inside the cab with the child. Thankfully, the child did not appear to be adversely affected by exposure to the drugs."

The boy was checked by medical first responders and given a clean bill of health.

Boese was booked into the Grant County Jail and his pickup was impounded.

Foreman says fentanyl is not currently included on the list of drugs that law enforcement is allowed to consider for felony charges when used in the presence of a child. However, cocaine and methamphetamine are on this list, and investigators have sent the fentanyl found in Boese's possession to a laboratory for analysis and if it tests positive for these substances, the current misdemeanor charges will be amended to felonies.

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