Two parents in northern California were arrested after authorities found their toddler twins locked in what police described as makeshift cages in a house full of dangerous weapons and suspected drugs. But the parents won’t be facing child endangerment charges after the District Attorney said the incident was blown out of proportion.
KTLA obtained an arrest warrant from the Modoc County Sheriff’s Office that outlined charges against Ramon Alberto Zendejas and his girlfriend Mercadies Irene Williams, both 25, after a California Highway Patrol officer visited their home and found 22-month twin boys in modified cribs that were “secured to the wall like dog crates” and stacked on top of one another, the release states.
Modoc County Sheriff Tex Dowdy told the news station KRCR that the CHP officer had gone to the home to issue a correctable citation but saw shell casings on the property, and learned after communicating with a deputy that Zendejas was prohibited from possessing firearms. But when officers entered the home to execute a search warrant on Friday, they found three firearms — along with ammunition, evidence of a butane honey oil lab, and possible methamphetamine.
The suspects were charged with child endangerment along with multiple drug and weapon charges.
But Modoc County District Attorney Sam Kyllo told KRCR that his office won’t be prosecuting the child endangerment charge, claiming that the children were not actually in cages, though images of the home shared by the news station shows that the cribs were stacked on top of each other all the way to the angled ceiling of the room, providing no opening at the top of either crib.
“There’s no kids in cages and it’s not a child endangerment case,” Kyllo said, reportedly adding that the sheriff’s office was in agreement with how to move forward. “They’re cribs, you can buy them on Amazon.”
The District Attorney also said that his office will not be pursuing charges related to the lab, but said that drug possession charges would stick. It is not known what will come of the firearm charges.
The Modoc County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from KRCR.