Strong Words From Judge After Parents Arrested In Raid At Suspected Marijuana Grow House

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) —There were strong words Tuesday from a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge when two parents appeared in bond court after their two children, both under the age of 12, were rescued from a suspected marijuana grow house in Hialeah.

Reading from a police report, Judge Mindy Glazer said, “During the first day of school a teacher noticed a strong odor of marijuana on the child who disclosed it was grown in his home. His clothing smelled of marijuana. How is that not child neglect?”

Glazer noted that the issue was not about whether the children’s home was in disarray or not. The issue, she said, was about the presence of illegal drugs.

“I live in a home in disarray,” she said. “But I don’t have marijuana growing in my home.”

On Monday, August 21st, a teacher at Palm Springs Middle School contacted the authorities about an 11-year-old student they suspected lived in a home where cannabis was either being grown or sold, or both.

After getting a warrant from a judge, Hialeah police officer went to the student’s home in the 5800 block of W 28th Court and served it.

Inside they found 41-year-old Rolando Naranjo, 32-year-old Betsy Espinoza, a 4-year-old child and a fully operational marijuana hydroponics set up in a bedroom.

There were a total of 10 plants, weighing just over 30 pounds, along with plastic baggies for packaging, two heat seal vacuum machines and two digital scales, according to police, who also noted that residence was within 1,000 feet of Ben Shepherd Elementary.

Judge Glazer noted that the police report said that there was “the smell of marijuana at the exterior of the residence. The home was in disarray. There was little or no food. The refrigerator has mold inside.”

The judge set bond for Naranjo at $56,000 and set bond for Espinoza at $10,000.

She also ordered them to have no contact with their children “directly or indirectly or through a third person or through social media.” She also said they could not go within 500 feet of their children.

It was revealed in court that the mother had served time in prison in 2002 for robbery and was arrested in Broward in 2009 for DUI.

Naranjo and Espinoza face a number of drug related charges including possession of marijuana and trafficking in marijuana within a thousand feet of school.

Their children were turned over to the Department of Children and Families.

There was a shelter hearing Tuesday afternoon for the 4-year-old and 11-year-old boys living in the parents’ apartment as well as for a third child.

Judge Cindy Lederman ruled that the maternal grandmother would have permanent custody of the 11-year-old boy and temporary custody of the 4-year-old boy and the third child.

On her way out of court, the maternal grandmother told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that she had no comment.

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