LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – Police say a suspected heroin dealer put his young children in danger by leaving drugs and guns within their reach in a home that was unfit for human habitation.
37-year-old Alex Rivera-Gonzalez was charged after police raided his home this week.
Detectives said they found materials used to process heroin in a container of baby wipes. A stolen handgun, which was loaded, was found in the room where an infant sleeps.
“There were some serious crimes going on,” Lancaster police Lieutenant Todd Umstead said. “On top of that we have young children, very young children, who were exposed to this.”
The raid comes after an investigation that went on since last October.
Umstead said officers also found hypodermic needles buried in toddler’s clothing in the home on the 300 block of East Marion Street. He said told a total of three children lived in the house where Rivera-Gonzalez sold heroin.
“No indication that the children were harmed in any way, but they certainly had access to it and it was accessible,” Umstead said. “The gun was on a shelf that was low to the ground.”
The house is now condemned, and there’s a strongly worded note in the window that warns anyone who might come there looking for drugs that they will be caught.
Joshua Polys, a neighbor, said the entire situation is heartbreaking for the children who lived in the home.
“It’s saddening,” he told ABC 27 News. “It’s a shame and frightening.”
Umstead said the children are staying with other family members.
Rivera-Gonzalez was charged with endangering the welfare of children, receiving stolen property, possession with the intent to deliver heroin, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is free on $150,000.00 bail.