Children placed in care of grandparents after parents arrested on drug charges

Drug paraphernalia found inside filthy, deplorable apartment, police say

MIAMI - The Department of Children and Families took four children into custody on Thursday after Miami police arrested their parents, Gabriel de Jesus Orellana and Renee Marie Garcia.

A police sting began when Orellana was seen hitting his 9-year-old daughter and soliciting her for prostitution.

After they set up the undercover operation, police say Garcia offered to have sex with an undercover police officer in exchange for money.

Inside the home, the undercover officer saw a large amount of drug paraphernalia and the home in deplorable conditions.

"They would never let you see inside the apartment," the couple's neighbor, David Basterrechea, told Local 10's Todd Tongen on Friday.

He then showed what was behind the door -- a filthy apartment littered with garbage everywhere you looked and drug paraphernalia in clear reach of the children.

"See the needles? A crack pipe on the floor, broken," Basterrechea said.

There was no food in the refrigerator or cupboards, clearly unsanitary and unsafe especially for four young  children ages 7 to 13.

"Are you working madam?  Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez asked Garcia during a bond hearing.

"No," Garcia replied.

"Do you have any property or money in the bank?" the judge asked.

"No," Garcia said.

In bond court on Friday Garcia was charged with 4 counts of child neglect, assorted drug charges and prostitution after she offered to have sex with an undercover officer.

"Have you been treated for any kind of alcohol or drug problems?" the judge asked Orellana.

"Yes, a drug problem," he replied.

On Friday afternoon at the juvenile justice center the two boys and two girls clutching teddy bears were put in the custody of their paternal grandparents and an uncle who left the court proceedings with the children in tow, clearly upset with the outcome.

"I don't think half of what they are saying is true," he said.

Back at that filthy Flagler Avenue apartment it was clear the couple knew their vile lifestyle was wrong and tried to hide it.

"Instead of medicine you have needles and then what they were doing to sneak out of the apartment so no one would see them leaving the apartment and leaving the kids here alone they broke the window," Basterrechea said

Both Orellana and Garcia face several charges, including child neglect and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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