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Port Richey couple exposed 2 toddlers to fentanyl in Dunedin home, deputies say

The father could not explain how their 1-year-old and 2-year-old children were exposed to fentanyl. But he did say the house had “evil spirits.”
 
Jessica Ceron, 36, and Dexter Evans, 38, were arrested Wednesday and face child neglect charges after their two children were exposed to fentanyl, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.
Jessica Ceron, 36, and Dexter Evans, 38, were arrested Wednesday and face child neglect charges after their two children were exposed to fentanyl, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said. [ Pinellas County Sheriff's Office ]
Published Sept. 9, 2022|Updated Sept. 9, 2022

A Port Richey couple were arrested Wednesday and both face child neglect charges after they exposed their 2-year-old and 1-year-old children to fentanyl, Pinellas deputies say .

On June 10, deputies were called to a Dunedin house in response to a report of an unresponsive child and found a 2-year-old struggling to breathe, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Thursday. The child was taken to an area hospital.

Doctors ordered multiple medical tests on the child and the results showed the 2-year-old had fentanyl in their system, according to the release. At one point the toddler stopped breathing, deputies said.

Several doses of Narcan were needed to treat the child, the Sheriff’s Office said.

In an investigation, detectives learned the couple’s 1-year-old child had experienced similar symptoms a few days before and deputies said tests found fentanyl also was present in the 1-year-old’s system.

The children’s parents — Jessica Ceron, 36, and Dexter Evans, 38 — did not seek treatment for the 1-year-old child, whose symptoms were similar to the other’s days later. .

The parents denied knowing how the kids were exposed to the drug, though Ceron told deputies she had smoked two cigarettes containing molly — a purer form of ecstasy or MDMA — three days before her 2-year-old child was taken to the hospital with breathing issues, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say Ceron told them she saw “Evans smoke rolled cigarettes with ‘white powder sprinkled inside it,’” the release said.

Evans did not explain how the kids could have been exposed to fentanyl, deputies said, but he did tell them there are “evil spirits” in the house and they were in the midst of a “spiritual warfare.”

This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.