NAPLES, Fla. - Two toddlers are in DCF custody after deputies say they were inside a car that reeked of marijuana and were just inches away from drug measuring cups. WINK News has exclusive video from Thursday night when the children were taken to NCH Hospital to be checked out. Their mother and another man are now behind bars.
Steve Gabriel and Francia Pompilus were arrested last on child neglect and drug charges.
Pompilius stood silently in front of Judge Vince Murphy Friday afternoon, accused of putting her own children in a harmful situation. Right behind her was Gabriel.
According to their arrest report, the two were pulled over at Collier Boulevard and Pine Ridge Road after Gabriel failed to stop at a stop sign.
The deputy observed "a very pungent smell of raw marijuana emitting from the interior of the vehicle. Also located in the rear of the vehicle were two children."
According to the report, he also found measuring cups "within... reaching distance to both children...that had a white powdery substance about them." They later tested positive for cocaine.
The children were taken to the hospital to be checked out as a precaution. The were taken into protective custody.
DCF confirmed that Pompilus is the mother of those children but could not confirm Gabriel's relationship. We checked Pompilus' record and found she was cited last June for a child seat violation. Both she and Gabriel both have prior drug arrests.
Judge Murphy set bond for both. However, Gabriel is being detained on two Lee County warrants. As for the children, DCF said there will be a shelter hearing to determine if nearby family will get custody of the kids or if they will remain in the care DCF.