Father convicted of making kids panhandle money for drugs

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A jury has found a New Mexico father guilty of human trafficking for forcing his children to panhandle and using the money to buy drugs.

Authorities say all three children of 39-year-old James Stewart Sr. testified against their father, who could face up to 51 years in prison.

Authorities say Stewart has remained in custody in other cases including charges of sex trafficking. That case has yet to go to trial.

Stewart’s attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Stewart was convicted Wednesday of three counts of human trafficking in state District Court in Albuquerque.

He denied the charges during the trial and said he doesn’t do drugs.

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