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.
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 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