Crime

Two Las Cruces mothers arrested after children test positive for meth

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Authorities in Las Cruces arrested two mothers after three children tested positive for meth, court documents state.

Investigator Cecilia Contreras was sent to 1408 McFie, apartment A, to investigate allegations of unfit living conditions. Ophelia Montano and her five children, ages 14, 12, 9, 8, and 6, had been living at the apartment for three weeks.

When she entered the residence, Contreras allegedly observed dog feces and trash scattered throughout the apartment.

The apartment did not have electricity, running water or gas, court documents state. Contreras learned the electricity in the apartment was allegedly being obtained illegally.

The social worker also noticed there was insufficient food inside the refrigerator and pantry.

Upon further investigation, Contreras learned two of the children were filling jugs with water at McArthur Elementary so they could have water to drink and flush the toilet at home.

The state took custody of the children and placed them in the care of the father, who gave consent for his children to be drug tested.

One of the children, the 8-year-old girl, tested positive for meth, court documents state.

The court document reveals another woman, Eliana Gonzalez, was also living in the same apartment with her six children. Gonzalez, reportedly homeless, was babysitting for Montano, court documents state.

During an interview with the social worker, Montano allegedly admitted to using drugs and leaving her children in the care of Gonzalez. Montano allegedly told the social worker she did not want to be near her children while she was under the influence of drugs and decided to spend a weekend away with her partner.

Montano allegedly told the social worker she was aware her apartment had no utilities, saying her landlord had cut off services. The woman consented to a drug test, which allegedly tested positive for meth and heroin.

Gonzalez also admitted to social workers she used drugs and tested positive for meth, court documents state. Two of Gonzalez's children, ages 8 and 13, allegedly tested positive for meth, the court documents state.

Gonzalez was charged with six counts of Abuse of a Child. Montano was charged with five counts of Abuse of a Child.


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