Three people arrested in an Atlantic City drug case where guns were allegedly within reach of children were ordered held in jail Monday.
Attorneys for Lenardo Caro, Robert Caro-Green and Adaliz Feliciano argued for their release, citing that all three are parents who want to be home for their children.
But it was the three children found where the defendants were arrested that influenced the judge’s decision.
Guns and ammunition were throughout the home in 1500 block of Mediterranean Avenue, including under a couch where kids were sitting, according to the charges.
The defendants showed an “utter disregard for the three juveniles in the home,” Superior Court Judge Dorothy Garrabrant said.
Feliciano “knew the children could have access to the weapons, which were throughout her home,” the judge said in holding the 34-year-old mother of three.
Robert Caro-Green’s attorney pleaded for his release, saying he is the sole financial provider for his six children.
“I just want to provide for my kids right now,” Caro-Green told the judge after she ordered him held. “Even if it’s the bracelet. I just need to be home to provide for them.”
Caro-Green’s nephew, Lenardo Caro, provides for his two children, ages 2 and 13, defense attorney Robert Johnson said.
But the judge focused more on the fact that Caro was just released from prison in November, after serving a three-year sentence on gun and assault charges related in a 2017 shootout between vehicles on the Atlantic City Expressway.
Caro was wounded in the incident, and another man was killed.
“The sentence the defendant received did nothing to deter (him),” Garrabrant said.
The recent incarceration and the children in the home “put together demonstrate to the court that (Caro’s) criminality and risk to the community are escalating,” she said.
A three-week investigation by Detective Alberto Valles led the city’s Special Investigations Section and SWAT team to the home.
Guns were found throughout the home, including a loaded machine gun, according to the charges.
The handguns were determined to be ghost guns, which are firearms that do not have a serial number and are untraceable, police previously said. They can often be purchased online and assembled at home.
The three face 19 counts, including 11 second-degree charges.
They will now remain in the Atlantic County Justice Facility pending the outcome of their cases.
NOTE: The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office has not yet made a determination whether to overturn a previous order banning the release of Atlantic County Justice Facility mugshots. Lenardo Caro’s photo is from the state Department of Corrections. Robert Caro-Green’s photo is from his video appearance at the detention hearing. Adaliz Feliciano’s photo could not be obtained.