PORTAGE | Five people were arrested on multiple drug and neglect charges Wednesday afternoon.
Three young children found in the apartment where the arrests were made were sent to the hospital for medical evaluation. Two were eventually released to Child Protective Services and the third released to his or her mother, who was not present during the arrests.
Police were called to an apartment in the 6600 block of Windjammer by apartment management. When they arrived, police could smell marijuana coming from the apartment.
When Timothy Hunter, 26, of Gary, answered the door, police described a cloud of smoke throughout the apartment so thick, they had difficulty breathing. They also described piles of trash, including rotten food, piled in the corner.
Hunter said the apartment belongs to his girlfriend and one of the children is theirs.
A second child was found lying on the floor, lethargic and EMS was called. The child's father, Thomas Walter, 28, of Gary, also was present.
A third child was found in the bathroom with his or her mother, Megan Carter, 28, of Gary.
Hunter initially denied having any marijuana in the apartment and attributed the smoke to cigarettes.
Officers eventually found marijuana cigarettes in an ashtray in the living room and a Mason jar filled with marijuana in a kitchen cabinet, police said. Next to the Mason jar was a bag containing $1,120, they said. Police said they also found a small digital scale and hydrocodone pills.
Hunter was charged with felony dealing marijuana because of the apartment's proximity to Portage High School and a playground. He also was charged with possession of marijuana, neglect of a dependent, maintaining a common nuisance, possession of a legend drug and possession of paraphernalia.
Walter and Carter were charged with visiting a common nuisance and neglect of a dependent.
Cheron Bates, 25, and Willie Tilson, 20, both of Portage, were charged with visiting a common nuisance.