updated 5/18/2010 1:05:39 PM ET 2010-05-18T17:05:39

A Massachusetts man offered to trade his 3-month-old daughter to an employee at a gas station and convenience store in exchange for beer, or perhaps crack cocaine, police say.

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Matthew Brace, 24, of Northampton allegedly made the offer on Monday in what Chicopee Police Chief John Ferraro Jr. called "a new low."

"It’s not a joke; this is very serious,” Ferraro said Tuesday, according to The Republican.

Ferraro told the newspaper that Brace and his girlfriend, who has not been charged, encountered an employee outside a gas station and convenience store in Chicopee.

When the employee asked the couple about the age of their baby, Brace allegedly put his 3-month old daughter and her stroller into the employee’s truck.

“For two 40s, you can have her,” Brace told the employee, according to Ferraro’s account.

The chief added that “40” is slang for both beer sold in a 40-ounce bottle and crack cocaine. Investigators are not sure whether Brace meant beer or crack, he said.

The man called police. The couple was later found at a nearby motel, where Brace was trying to hide the stroller behind a trash bin, police said.

State child welfare officials took the baby into custody.

Brace was not arrested but will be summoned to court to face a charge of reckless endangerment of a child, police said. A phone number for him could not immediately be found.

The child's mother, who was in the store at the time buying cigarettes, has not been charged.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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