Update: Modoc County District Attorney Sam Kyllo says he’s sticking with a decision not to charge a Tulelake couple with child endangerment.
Ramon Zendejas and Mercadies Williams were arrested last week.
Police say they found two toddlers in secured cribs in the home.
Kyllo says the ‘stackable cribs’ are not cages.
Kyllo says Child Protective Services found the home clean, and the children well cared for.
The D.A. also says they’re insufficient evidence that the home was ever used for processing cannabis.
Ramon Zendejas still faces charges for being a felon in possession of a firearm, and for having a small amount of methamphetamine in his possession.
Mercadies Williams was released from custody Tuesday.
Alturas, Cal. – Charges of child endangerment have been dropped against two people from Modoc County- after police say children were found in secured, cage-like cribs in a home with guns and drug paraphernalia.
Modoc County Sheriff William ‘Tex’ Dowdy says the situation began Friday when an officer responded to a home south of Tulelake. “While he was at the residence, discovered the empty shell casings, many empty shell casings about the property.”
Dowdy says 25 year old resident Ramon Alberto Zendejas is a felon, and isn’t supposed to have weapons.
But officers didn’t expect what they found inside.
“They found these two small children, which were basically in two modified cribs that were attached to the wall.” Dowdy noted.
Latches were secured, preventing the the 22 month old toddlers from getting out.
Police say they also found evidence that a butane honey oil lab for processing marijuana had been used in the home.
“There were 3 firearms recovered.” Sheriff Dowdy stated. “Over 100 rounds of ammunition were recovered at the residence, and a small amount of a controlled substance, being methamphetamine.”
Mercadies Irene Williams was also arrested, but was released Tuesday morning on her own recognizance.
Charges of child endangerment against Williams and Zendejas were dropped at a hearing Tuesday.
Modoc County District Attorney Sam Kyllo declined to appear on camera, though he told NBC5: “This is not a child endangerment case.”
Kyllo would not elaborate further.
After the arrest, the children in the home were placed in custody of Modoc County Child Protective Services.
Their current status is unknown.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.