Father arrested after his baby tests positive for marijuana

A man landed behind bars after his 9-month-old son tested positive for marijuana, according to the Webb County Sheriff’s Office.

Israel Martinez, 44, was recently served with arrest warrants charging him with two counts of child endangerment by criminal negligence and possession of marijuana.

The Sheriff’s Office received a medical emergency call at about 2 p.m. April 1 for a 9-month-old boy. The caller was the infant’s father, who was identified as Martinez.

Martinez reported that his son was not moving, had swelling in his eyes and had shallow breathing. EMS services were dispatched to their residence inside the Villarreal Ranch on FM 2895, about 4 miles north of Texas 359 in Aguilares. The baby and the mother were taken to Laredo Medical Center.

At about 5:45 p.m., Laredo police informed the Sheriff’s Office that officers were called out to LMC because the infant tested positive for marijuana, according to an arrest affidavit.

A deputy then met with the mother. Asked why her son tested positive for marijuana, she stated that her husband, Martinez, smokes marijuana and she believed he might have accidentally dropped some inside the house, where the baby picked it up and put it inside his mouth, according to court documents.

The deputy then met with the father in the emergency room and asked him why his son tested positive for marijuana. Martinez stated that it could have been the medication his son takes. He added that he was not present when his wife found the infant unresponsive, states the affidavit.

Investigators then responded to look further into the case. Authorities learned from LMC staff that the baby appeared to be “very lethargic” and his reflexes were decreased. He was difficult to arouse. When a doctor applied an IV, the infant did not respond to any pain, the affidavit states. But his vitals were stable.

A nurse asked the mother if she or anyone consumes drugs at home. The mother stated that Martinez smokes outside of the home but never in front of their children. A urinalysis for the baby resulted positive for marijuana. Child Protective Services was notified, authorities said.

While talking to an investigator, the mother stated that Martinez has ADHD and uses marijuana as a substitute for his medications. She added that her husband is always careful and never smokes in front of the children, according to court documents.

Regarding her son testing positive for marijuana, the only explanation the mother could think of was that Martinez might have dropped a little piece of marijuana inside her son’s playing area, the affidavit states. Once the baby was medically cleared, the parents were taken to the Sheriff’s Office Substation for further questioning.

In an interview with investigators, Martinez admitted being a marijuana user. He added he purchases 4 to 7 grams of marijuana for $40 to $60 in Laredo every two weeks. He denied keeping or storing the marijuana inside his home, authorities said.

Martinez added he “usually rolls” inside the restroom on top of a boiler platform that is not within the children’s reach, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

“He said he places a napkin, rolls blunts on it and usually removes the edges of the marijuana but cleans the residue afterward and disposes of it. He stated that he believed a tiny piece of marijuana might have fallen and that is how (the baby) got access to it,” states the affidavit.

Martinez added he keeps the marijuana inside a container that children cannot access and described himself as “a careful father.” He stated he smokes near the barn and added that he last smoked the night before around 11:30 p.m., states the affidavit.

A search of the family’s home resulted in the discovery of an unlabeled orange medicine bottle containing 0.045 ounces of marijuana on top of the kitchen counter. In addition, there was a stool on the floor near the area where the container was that any of his children could have used to gain access, authorities said.

The investigator told Martinez that his child could have easily reached the container. Martinez replied he thought “he had gotten rid of everything,” the affidavit states.

The investigator also found another medicine bottle containing multiple cigarette butts believed to be from marijuana blunts in a bedroom next to the restroom. The medicine bottle was inside a “Café Diario” plastic container on top of a dresser. Other evidence recovered from the dresser included drug paraphernalia such as grinder, a smoking pipe and rolling paper packages, the Sheriff’s Office said.

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