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5 kids found inside crate in back of pickup with no water, ventilation in 100-degree heat

Three people were arrested in Needles this week after authorities found five children riding in a makeshift crate in the back of their pickup truck.
(San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department)

Three Sacramento residents were arrested in Needles this week after authorities found five children riding in a makeshift crate in the back of their pickup truck.

San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies stopped the vehicle near Bailey Avenue and J Street about 2 p.m. Tuesday after receiving a call from someone who reported seeing children inside a small crate in the bed of a truck along the 40 Freeway.

Authorities say they found five children — ages 1 to 13 — inside a wooden box that was attached to the truck bed.

The kids were not wearing any kinds of safety restraints and had no ventilation, water or air conditioning, even as the outside temperature hovered around 100 degrees, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

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A search of the truck also turned up narcotics, drug paraphernalia and a shotgun, authorities said.

Deputies arrested the vehicle’s three adult occupants: Kenneth Standridge, 40; Zona Brasier, 39; and Aushajuan Hardy, 41.

Standridge and Brasier each face five counts of child endangerment and are scheduled to be arraigned Friday, court records show. Standridge also is accused of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Hardy, who authorities say was on post-release community supervision, was found to be wanted on a no-bail felony warrant out of Sacramento and remains in custody, according to authorities.

The children were put in the care of San Bernardino County Children and Family Services. Authorities did not elaborate on their relationship with the suspects.


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