Child endangerment charges dropped in Modoc County arrests

Photo courtesy of the Modoc County Sheriff's Office.

Child endangerment charges have been dropped in the case against Ramon Alberto Zendejas, 25, and his girlfriend Mercadies Irene Williams, 25.

Zendejas and Williams were arrested on Friday for child endangerment, possession of a controlled substance, manufacturing a controlled substance and weapons charges after the Modoc County Sheriff's Office served a search warrant in the 3000 block of C/R 101.

In a press release Monday, MCSO said they found 22-month-old twin boys in two separate modified cribs that were stacked on top of one another and secured to the wall "like dog crates". Deputies also found three firearms, ammunition, evidence of a butane honey oil lab, suspected methamphetamine.

According to the Modoc County District Attorney Sam Kyllo, the situation did not present itself as child endangerment.

"There's no kids in cages and it's not a child endangerment case," he said in a phone call to News 10. "They're cribs, you can buy them on Amazon."

"I believe there were concerns based on what the officers initially observed," he added.

Kyllo indicated the incident was blown out of proportion and the sheriff's office is in agreement with him on the way the case should proceed.

Modoc County Sheriff Tex Dowdy said he supports Kyllo's decision, noting that the case is now out of MCSO's hands unless the DA asks for further invesitgation.

According to Dowdy, child endangerment charges were initiated after deputies found weapons and evidence of drugs in the home. He said the'modified cribs' the infants were kept also played into the charges.

"I don't think that's normally how people would be keeping their kids in a bedroom" said Dowdy. "Obviously they were trying to protect them from something. Whatever that is, we can only speculate."

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