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Flight attendant accused of drugging tot

DETROIT, March 14 (UPI) -- A Northwest Airlines flight attendant has been charged with spiking a crying toddler's apple juice with a crushed prescription anti-depressant on a trans-Atlantic flight last August.

Beate Turner, the child's mother, had the juice tested because it was bitter, foamy and had blue specks floating in it. The liquid tested positive for Xanax, a medication prescribed for panic attacks, anxiety and some symptoms of depression.

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Federal prosecutors charged Daniel Reed Cunningham of Ann Arbor with assault for allegedly drugging the 19-month-old child who was restless and crying aboard Northwest Flight 47 from Amsterdam to Detroit. He also was charged with distributing a controlled substance.

In October he was charged with bringing more than 100 tablets of Xanax and Valium into the United States in his luggage on flight from India.

Cunningham, 33, quit his job in December and denied any wrongdoing through his lawyer. Arraignment is scheduled in U.S. District Court next week.

"Our standard procedures for flight attendants do not include prescribing medication unless it is through the assistance of a physician with our in-flight emergency services," Northwest spokeswoman Mary Stanik told Friday's Detroit Free Press.

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Xanax is not approved for pediatric use.

Turner said toddler took a few sips of the juice but was not injured. She decided to have it tested and poured it into sippy container.

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