Five Arrested in Plot to Buy baby

HARRISBURG – Five suspects have been arrested and charged with participating in a plot to buy a baby and adopt the child out to family members.

Acting Attorney General Bill Ryan identified the defendants as Jarrett Smith, Donna Albright-Smith, Krista Eveland, Eileen Smith and Jerome Smith.

Ryan said that Albright-Smith and her ex-husband Jarrett Smith allegedly solicited Krista Eveland to sell them her unborn child so that Jarrett Smith’s brother and sister-in-law could adopt the baby.

According to the criminal complaint, Jerome Smith and his wife Eileen Smith were hoping to adopt a child when they were approached by Donna Albright-Smith, who told them she knew of a mother who wanted to put her child up for adoption.

The charges state that Jerome and Eileen Smith paid for Eveland’s pregnancy placing approximately $5,000-$6,000 into a trust fund to reimburse her for “necessary expenses.” The Smiths also allegedly gave Eveland cash at least once a week for gas and groceries and also paid her rent, car insurance, car repairs and electric bills.

According to the criminal complaint, in addition to taking care of her expenses, Jerome and Eileen Smith agreed to pay Eveland a final cash payment of $4,000 to $6,000 after the adoption was finalized. The money was allegedly to be delivered following the adoption proceedings in a brown paper bag, so that nobody could be tied to the money.

Ryan said the baby was born on May 23, 2009 and released from the hospital to the custody of “adoptive” parents Eileen and Jerome Smith. A July 10, 2009 hearing was then scheduled in Potter County Court of Common Pleas to finalize the termination of parental rights and finalize the adoption. 

The charges state that prior to the hearing the presiding judge learned of a previous plot by Albright-Smith and Jarrett Smith to buy a different baby for $20,000. Following the revelations, the judge continued the adoption hearing and ordered the child to be returned to Eveland.

Ryan thanked the Pennsylvania State Police for their assistance with the investigation.

The case will be prosecuted in Potter County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Jonelle Eshbach of the Attorney General’s Criminal Prosecutions Section.

Below is a complete list of the defendants and the charges against them.

–Donna Albright-Smith, 38, 411 Dwight St., Coudersport, Potter County, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy, one count of dealing in infant children and one count of criminal solicitation.

–Jarrett Smith, 43, 414 Sunrise Ridge Road, Coudersport, Potter County, is charged with two counts of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, one count of dealing in infant children and one count of criminal conspiracy.

–Jerome Robert Smith, 47, 9000 W. 102nd St., Overland Park, Kansas, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy, one count of dealing in infant children and one count of criminal solicitation.

–Eileen Smith, 42, 9000 W. 102nd St., Overland Park, Kansas, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy, one count of dealing in infant children and one count of criminal solicitation.

–Krista Eveland, 24, 1 E. 3rd St., Apt. A, Coudersport, Potter County, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy, one count of dealing in infant children and one count of criminal solicitation.

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