Missing Toddler Leads To $100,000 Drug Operation

Wednesday, March 23rd 2016, 5:15 pm
By: News 9

A toddler found wandering in a diaper and pajama pants on a busy road led Logan County deputies back to a large marijuana growing operation.

Investigators said the child was nearly struck by a vehicle about noon on Tuesday.

In the 911 call obtained by News 9, the father said his son had gone missing.

He explained they were taking a nap and the boy woke up and got outside through an open gate.

3/23/2016 Related Story: Parents Arrested On Drug Charges After Toddler Found Wandering Logan Co. Streets

The dispatcher let the father know a deputy had found his son safe 40 minutes earlier and the father started sobbing uncontrollably.

Deputies went back to the boy’s home near W. Charter Oak Road and S. Eastern where his parents and two siblings live.

They said the smell of marijuana in the house was overwhelming.

Joshua and Megan Bates allowed deputies to search the home and they were arrested because deputies said they found marijuana, marijuana plants and pipes.

“You know in law enforcement, things happen a number of ways and this is just one of the ways this one happened,” said Detective Greg Valencia with the Logan County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators got a search warrant and returned to the home Wednesday.

They said they found nearly 60 marijuana plants in the shed with a value of more than $100,000.

While deputies gathered evidence, they said a delivery came for the parents and inside the box were lights that help grow marijuana indoors.

Investigators said they are happy the child who started the investigation was not hurt on that busy road.

“It's scary, I have children myself and I can't imagine how that could possibly feel if it had actually happened,” Valencia told News 9.

All three children are now in DHS custody.

The parents are facing additional charges after Wednesday's discovery.