Mom Sells Baby For Down Payment On Car, Police Say

Pueblo Police Recover Baby Sold By Mother For Cash

Three people were arrested on charges of swapping a 5-month-old boy for a down payment on a used Dodge Intrepid and cash, police said Tuesday.

Nicole Uribe, 23, is accused of trading the baby to Jose-Juan Lerma, 47, and his wife, Irene, 27, in exchange for the down payment and an unspecified amount of cash. The alleged baby swap happened in Pueblo, police said.

All three were arrested on suspicion of felony trafficking in children and were being held at the Pueblo jail on $50,000 bail each.

According to the arrest affidavit, an informant said the baby was sold for $10,000, but police did not verify that information in their investigation. The affidavit alleges that Uribe accepted $1,500 from the Lermas, $500 of which was to be the down payment.

Uribe told police she didn't believe she was selling the baby, according to the affidavit, but that she was giving it up for adoption, saying she thought she signed adoption papers.

The affidavit said Uribe thought she was giving the baby a better life, and because she had no money, she had no way to care for him. The document also says Uribe puts any money she has toward her two children and grandmother living in Mexico.

The baby was placed in a foster home, police Sgt. Brett Wilson said.

He said police found the child and arrested Uribe within hours of getting a tip on Monday. The Lermas were arrested on Tuesday.

Wilson said all three were Mexican nationals and federal officials had been asked to investigate their immigration status.

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