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

Ramon Zendejas and Mercadies Williams reportedly face multiple charges, including drug possession and manufacturing a controlled substance.

April 25, 2019
Mug shots of Ramon Zendejas and Mercadies Williams [Modoc County Sheriff's Office]

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.

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

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

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

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

Police originally went to the residence to serve a search warrant after finding shell casings on the property. At the time, the couple was allegedly 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.

Zendejas and Williams initially faced weapons charges in addition to charges of child endangerment, drug possession, and manufacturing a controlled substance, according to the statement. However, the Modoc County Sheriff's Office reportedly determined "the incident was blown out of proportion," and dropped the child endangerment charges.

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.

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

Next Up

Inside The Tragic Hart Family Murder-Suicide Crash

Jennifer and Sarah Hart killed themselves and murdered their six adopted children in 2018 by driving their SUV off a cliff in California.

5 Things You Need To Know About Susan Powell

In 2009, mother-of-two Susan Powell disappeared without a trace in West Valley City, Utah. Then in 2012, her husband Josh killed himself and their two sons after custody of the children was granted to Susan's parents.

Iowa Father Still Searching For Answers After Son’s 2013 Disappearance

Michael Workman’s son, Fredrick James Workman, disappeared at age 15 and may use the alias "Fred Shields."

‘In Pursuit With John Walsh’ And FBI Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive Michael Pratt Captured

On Dec. 23, the FBI confirmed they captured fugitive Michael Pratt in Spain. Pratt was arrested in connection with the operation of the GirlsDoPorn adult website.

Toddler Who Was Kidnapped By Her Babysitter Reunited With Family Over Five Decades Later

On Aug. 23, 1971, Melissa Highsmith was kidnapped by her babysitter in Fort Worth, Texas. 51 years later, DNA testing helped her family find her.

Two Kidnapped Children Found Nearly One Year Later In Florida Supermarket

In February 2023, a routine vehicle tag check near a Winn-Dixie supermarket helped police locate the alleged kidnapper, 36-year-old Kristi Nicole Gilley, inside the store with the two children.

Child Who Went Missing From A Washington Mall In 2018 Found Safe In Mexico

8-year-old Aranza Maria Ochoa Lopez, who had been missing since 2018, was found alive and well in Mexico and returned to the United States.

North Carolina Parents On The Run After Allegedly Abusing And Abandoning 4-Month-Old Son

Brandon Augustine, 24, and Mildred Chestnut, 23, are on the run after leaving their child at the hospital with severe, life-altering injuries. Now, the police are asking for the public’s help to find the couple.