MIAMI (CBS4) – Four children found living in filth went to court Friday.
Juvenile court Judge Rosa Figarola ultimately ordered the kids paternal grandmother to become the temporary guardian as their parents face allegations from police that the kids were prostituted by mom and dad.
Department of Children and Family Services took the children away from their parents Wednesday night.
Miami police say their investigation began when they received a tip that a man standing outside of his business in the 900 block of West Flagler Street was hitting his youngest daughter.
“We obviously set up a quick undercover operation because we received another tip that perhaps he was prostituting his daughter,” said Miami police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes.
The department sent in an undercover detective to go meet the man later identified as 35-year old Gabriel de Jesus Orellana. According to the arrest affidavit, while de Jesus Orellana did not produce the girl he gave the detective her mother’s phone number. When the detective called woman, 31-year old Renee Marie Garcia, agreed to meet him in front of de Jesus Orellana business.
“She met up with the officer and she first asked that he take her to buy drugs,” said Reyes. “They later went inside her home. Once inside that home she told the undercover officer that she was willing to commit the sexual activity in exchange for $150.”
According to the arrest report, they drove to Overtown and bought a bag of marijuana.
They then drove back to the couple’s apartment where she was arrested. The four children in the apartment were turned over to DCF.
In juvenille court Friday the judge gave the grandmother a stern warning to make sure the children were shielded from their parents.
“I have concerns about you as the proper custodian to take care of the children,” said Judge Rosa Figarola. “If and when the parents are released from jail, I want absolutely, absolutely no contact by these parents with these children.”
The grandmother agreed and promised to call police if the father attempted to see his kids.
Meanwhile in bond court Friday. Both Orellana and Garcia appeared before a judge. Orellana told the judge he suffered from drug addiction. Garcia said she suffered from mental illness.
Neighbors back at their Little Havana apartment complex were shocked.
“It’s horrible because you know I seen those kids all the time, I’m the one who tell them all the time go back to the house and put shoes on,” said neighbor Felipe Godoy.
Police said inside the apartment there was, in plain view on the dining room table, a shoe box lid with drug paraphernalia including used syringes, a broken glass pipe and baggies with drug residue. There was garbage all over the floor and the mildew refrigerator was empty; there was no food in the house.
“Its disturbing to find that inside that home detectives clearly stated on their arrest affidavit that there was rubbish practically from inch to inch on that floor,” said Reyes.
As for the call about de Jesus Orellano possibly offering his daughter for sex, Reyes said detectives believe Garcia and de Jesus Orellano may have offered them to men.
“At some point detectives believe that they may have been prostituted or perhaps they have been offered to commit prostitution,” said Reyes.
Garcia has been charged with prostitution, drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and four counts of child neglect. De Jesus Orellano was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and four counts of child neglect.