California Couple 'Locked Kids In Cages' To Keep Them Away From Meth

Ramon Zendejas and Mercadies Williams were initally hit with weapons charges in addition to charges of child endangerment, drug possession, and manufacturing a controlled substance.

April 25, 2019

Photo by: Mug shots of Ramon Zendejas and Mercadies Williams [Modoc County Sheriff's Office]

Mug shots of Ramon Zendejas and Mercadies Williams [Modoc County Sheriff's Office]

By: Catherine Townsend

TULELAKE, CA — Police have arrested a California couple who allegedly kept their kids locked up in cages "secured to the wall like dog crates," according to USA Today.

Police arrested Ramon Zendejas, 25, and Mercadies Williams, 25, after officers from the Modoc County Sheriff's Office found drugs, guns, and a pair of twin boys at their residence locked in cribs that were modified to operate as "secured cages."

Police originally went to the the residence to serve a search warrant, after finding shell casings on the property, while the couple was prohibited from owning firearms. "While serving the search warrant, deputies located three guns, ammunition, evidence of a butane honey oil lab, meth, and two small boys in separate modified cribs stacked on top of each other and secured to the wall like dog crates," the sheriff's office said in a statement.

Photo by: The toddlers locked in cages [Modoc County Sheriff's Office]

The toddlers locked in cages [Modoc County Sheriff's Office]

Zendejas and Williams were initially hit with weapons charges in addition to charges of child endangerment, drug possession, and manufacturing a controlled substance, according to the statement.

Modoc County Sheriff Tex Dowdy told ABC News that he believes the suspects may have been trying to keep the twins locked in to protect them from the dangerous items in the home.

"It was ... shocking to see that people would have their kids in a … well, there's no other way to explain it, it looked much like a crate situation," Dowdy told the news channel. "It's kind of shocking to see anything like that. I couldn't believe the kids were housed like that."

Dowdy said the children appeared healthy, and stated that they have been turned over to child-protective services.

The Modoc County Sheriff's Office eventually determined that "the incident was blown out of proportion," and the child endangerment charges against the couple were dropped.

Read more: ABC News, ABC News (2), USA Today

Next Up

Texas Couple Gets 60 Years In Prison For Filming Sex Abuse Of 'At Least' 25 Kids

Some of the victims were babies; the children's ages reportedly ranged from 8 months to 14 years old.

Edge Of The Cliff: How An American Dream Turned Into A Nightmare For A Model Family

Jennifer and Sarah Hart were regarded by all who knew them as caring and devoted parents who had adopted two sets of three Black siblings and dedicated their lives to raising the six children in a socially conscious atmosphere that focused on love and acceptance.

'House of Horrors' Child-Torture Turpins Sentenced To Life; Survivors Speak Out In Court

“My parents took my whole life from me, but now I'm taking my life back,” one daughter told the court.

Son Fatally Stabbed His Parents Because He Was 'Sick Of Them,' Illinois Police Say

Jose Ramirez, 21, has been charged in connection with the deaths of his parents, Susan Brill de Ramirez and Antonio Ramirez Barron.

Dad Charged With Intentionally Shooting 2-Year-Old Son In The Face With A Shotgun

Michael Glance acted “intentionally” during a fight with the boy's mom; the baby had “half his face” blown off and is in critical condition.

Woman Uses Toddler’s Diaper To Pass Rikers Island Inmate Contraband

Surveillance video caught the exchange during a misguided family visit.