Modoc DA: Two arrested for kids in "cages" will not face child endangerment charges

Photo courtesy of the Modoc County Sheriff's Office.

Update as of 4:26 p.m. Tuesday April 23

The Modoc County District Attorney said Tuesday the two arrested for this incident would not face child endangerment charges.

"There's no kids in cages and it's not a child endangerment case," District Attorney Sam Kyllo said. "They're cribs, you can buy them on Amazon."

Zendejas and Williams were initially arrested for child endangerment by the Modoc County Sheriff's Office but Kyllo says his office will not be pursuing those charges.

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.

He will also not be pursuing charges related to a butane honey oil lab, though they will face charges for misdemeanor possession of methamphetamine.

The sheriff's office was not immediately available for comment.

Original article

(KRCR) - Two children were found locked in "cages" inside a Modoc County home Friday while officials were serving a search warrant, according to the Modoc County Sheriff's Office.

According to deputies, the search warrant was issued in the 3000 block of C/R 101 in Modoc County late Friday afternoon, with assistance from CHP and the Malin Police Department.

Modoc County Sheriff Tex Dowdy says the search warrant was granted after a CHP officer went to the property to sign off on a correctable citation and found shell casings on the property. After notifying the resident deputy in the area, it was determined that Ramon Alberto Zendejas, 25, from Tulelake was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.

Sheriff Dowdy said when deputies and officers went to the home to serve the search warrant, they had no knowledge of there possibly being children inside.

While serving the search warrant, deputies found three firearms, ammunition, evidence of a butane honey oil lab, suspected methamphetamine, and two small children, approximately 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".

Officials say Zendejas and his girlfriend Mercadies Irene Williams, 25, were arrested for child endangerment, possession of a controlled substance, manufacturing a controlled substance and weapons charges.

When asked why he believes the parents locked up the children, Sheriff Dowdy said, "I suspect it was a way to keep them away from the other items that were located within the residence."

Both suspects are being held on $10,000 bail.


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