POLK COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested three people on felony charges Tuesday after they went to a home in the 100 block of Cedar Ridge to serve a warrant, smelled a strong odor of marijuana, and found two young children lying in a room infested with roaches.
The child also had what appeared to be visible bug bites on her cheek, according to one of the probable cause affidavits.
Stephanie Renee Holmes, 34, Mark Aaron Luna, and Mark Alan Welch, 54, all of Livingston, were each booked into the Polk County jail on two state-jail felony abandoning or endangering a child charges and a misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia charge.
Holmes and Luna were each also hit with third-degree felony forgery and misdemeanor public nuisance charges.
A spokeswoman for the Polk County Jail said that Holmes and Welch have already posted bail on bond amounts of $15,000 and $10,000 respectively and have been released from custody. Luna is still being held in the jail, and his collective bond amount has been set at $20,000.
According to one of the probable cause affidavits, PCSO deputies went the home on Cedar Ridge to serve an arrest warrant on Luna, who is a known methamphetamine user. When the deputies got there, Luna was standing in the front doorway, and the PCSO deputies noticed a strong smell of marijuana coming from inside the house.
Everyone in the house was detained, and then it was cleared by the PCSO deputies. While the deputies were clearing the house, they noticed that the smell of marijuana was present throughout the house. They also noticed a large roach infestation in the home's kitchen, the affidavit stated.
When they moved into the living room, they noticed an 8-year-old girl lying in the living room. A 2-year-old boy was asleep in the same room, the affidavit stated. The roaches were also present in the living room.
The PCSO deputies noticed several small bug bites on the girl's cheek, and one of them asked her about them. She allegedly told them they were "bed bug bites" and that they "itched really bad," the affidavit stated.
During the effort to clear the home, the PCSO deputies also noticed evidence of rat feces, the affidavit stated.
According to the affidavit, because of the strong smell of weed throughout the house and the fact that Holmes and Luna, her spouse, were so careless in where they hid their marijuana that the deputy who obtained the warrant feels that it is likely the 8-year-old girl and the 2-year-old boy will test positive for marijuana.
The PCSO deputies also found a lighter hidden in a child's kitchen playset during a more detailed search of the home after a warrant was obtained, the affidavit stated.
During the more-detailed search, one of the PCSO deputies found a large bundle of cash containing $100 and $50 bills. Even though the bills looked real, the deputies determined that they were counterfeit bills because of their texture and the Chinese watermarks on them, the affidavit stated.
When the deputies spoke to the 8-year-old girl about the fake money, she told them that she does not have any play or "prop" money, the affidavit stated.
A small amount of marijuana was allegedly found in the home as well.
The deputies also found a large, broken pool containing still water in the backyard, the affidavit stated. The deputy who obtained the warrant stated that the still water was "producing and attracting unwanted insects like mosquitos.
Welch's child endangerment charges stemmed from the fact that several pills prescribed to him were found on a bedside table, and several children's toys were found nearby. Welch also allegedly admitted to smoking marijuana in the same room where the children had toys, the affidavit stated.