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Mother of 6 arrested on drug charges

Rocio Edith Cervantes, 37, of Merced was arrested Wednesday afternoon on drug and child endangerment charges, Merced County Sheriff's Department Deputy Kevin Blake said.

Blake, a member of the Sheriff's Tactical and Reconnaissance team, said Cervantes' arrest followed a two-week investigation and the serving of a search warrant about 12:30 p.m. at her home in the 1600 block of East Santa Fe Avenue.

State Parole Agent Craig Donnahoe, Blake, Deputy Dustin Witt and Sgt. Steve Sziraki reported finding one large bag containing 60 grams of crystal methamphetamine and a smaller bag of meth weighing 3 grams, a digital scale and an amount of currency involved in drug transactions.

Blake said Cervantes' six children, ranging in age from 1 to 17, were placed in the custody of Child Protective Services along with a 16-year-old family friend. A 16-year-old son was arrested on charges of violating probation and booked into Merced County Juvenile Hall.

Another 7 grams of crystal meth, in six individual packages, were found in Cervantes' Ford Explorer.

Cervantes was arrested on charges of felony child endangerment, possession of narcotics for sales, transportation of narcotics with intent to sell and maintaining a house where drugs are used or sold. She remained in Merced County Jail on Wednesday night in lieu of $115,810 bail, according to a correctional official.

Blake said as Cervantes pulled into a driveway in the 1800 block of East Santa Fe Avenue, a pit bull dog tried to attack Witt and he shot it. The dog was put down by animal control officers.

Blake said Cervantes admitted selling meth and believed the children weren't in any danger since the drugs were well-hidden.