Four people arrested after guns and drugs found near the bed where a toddler slept

Posted at 9:59 AM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-02 10:13:20-04

Officers arrested four people after finding guns and drugs near to the bed where a toddler slept in an apartment paid for by taxpayers.

Winter Haven Police received information on Monday a convicted felon with multiple felony gun and drug warrants was inside an apartment at the Abbey Lane Complex on Evergreen Place.

When officers went to look for Michael Merriweather they found the white Chrysler the 26-year-old was driving parked in front of 206 Evergreen Place.

Police found two people inside the car, 19-year-old Gregory Mikell and 17-year-old boy on probation for burglary.

Officers report smelling a strong marijuana odor and smoke from coming from the vehicle. A 3-year-old child was strapped in a car seat in the back. Police detained the two teens and determined the toddler was in Merriweather's care.

The officers when knocked on the apartment door. The lease holder, 28 year-old Decara Hardee answered, and told police numerous people were inside and she was willing to cooperate.

Among the nine people inside was Merriweather. Police took him into custody on the outstanding warrants.

Officers then searched the apartment seeing drugs and drug paraphernalia in plain sight.

Inside Hardee's bedroom, where she allowed a 3-year-old child to sleep with her, officers found an open bag containing marijuana, baggies and a digital scale.

Detectives found 113 grams of marijuana, cocaine and prescription pills in the apartment along with five guns and ammunition.

Police determined three of the five guns were stolen.

Officers arrested Hardee for Possession of Cannabis in Public Housing Facility, Negligent Child Abuse without Bodily Harm, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Maintain Structure for Keeping Controlled Substance.

In addition to the outstanding warrants, Merriweather was charged with Knowing Abuse Child without Bodily Harm. Mikell is charged with Knowing Abuse Child without Bodily Harm and Possession of Cannabis.

The 17-year-old was charged with violating his probation, Possession of Cannabis and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.