BAKER COUNTY, Fla. - An armed robbery investigation led deputies to a mother who organized her underage son and his friends to buy her drugs, according to the Baker County Sheriff's Office.
Linda Matelsky, 38, was arrested on charges of child neglect and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Five others, some of whom are teenagers, are facing charges of armed robbery.
Deputies said the investigation began on Friday, when the mother, Matelsky, called the Sheriff's Office, saying her son was robbed at gunpoint. She told deputies that three of her son's friends drove him to the Duck Pond at Macclenny's city park along West Boulevard, held him at gunpoint and took $120 from him -- money she said she gave her son to buy clothes for school.
But after rounding up the suspects, deputies said, they learned the robbery was the result of a drug deal, which Matelsky arranged between her 14-year-old son and his friends.
"Now, she was not involved in the armed robbery, she did not set that up. But she knew who was involved and why they took it," said Gil Smith, News4Jax crime and safety analyst. "Since it was her money, she just thought that she could call police and come up with a story. And for the most part, just getting the $120 back is really what she wanted.”
According to a Sheriff's Office report, Matelsky and her son told deputies 18-year-old Savannah Rodriguez, 20-year-old Tyler Barton and another juvenile boy were responsible for the armed robbery. Deputies said they tracked the three down, and learned they got the gun from two other men, one of whom told investigators that he normally hides the gun at the park.
According to deputies, Matelsky eventually confessed to asking her son to buy drugs from another juvenile with her money.
Matelsky's neighbor, Dylan Whitley, said he was shocked to learn of her arrest.
"I don't need that stuff around here, around my kid," he said.
Whitley added that he hopes the incident will be an eye opener for his neighbor and her child.
"I would hope that seeing what kind of trouble that drugs can get you into is kind of bad for their future," Whitley said.
News4Jax went to Matelsky's house on Tuesday. One of the people at the home said they did not want to comment about her arrest.
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