ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The target of a search warrant was a suspected bank robber, but it was his mom who ended up in handcuffs for child abuse and a marijuana grow operation.
The intention of FBI agents and BCSO deputies was to arrest Dennis Saavedra when they went to a home where he might be staying in the South Valley on Thursday. That’s when the unexpected discovery was made.
Instead of finding Saavedra, who’s accused of robbing the U.S. Bank on Isleta at knifepoint on July 27, law enforcement say they found 70 marijuana plants, scales indicating it was meant for sale, a stolen revolver and a ballistic vest.
Inside the home was Saavedra’s mom, Maria Saavedra and her boyfriend, David Valdez. It’s their home. So BCSO arrested them.
“The state is in agreement with the defense that there is no probable cause for the receiving stolen firearm portion of the complaint,” Judge Christine Rodriguez said in court when Maria and David appeared before her on Saturday.
The stolen gun charge was dropped. The couple claimed they had no clue it was in their home.
“However, the court does find there is probable cause for the possession with the intent to distribute,” Judge Rodriguez said, referring to the marijuana that was discovered.
“Also abuse of a child charge,” Judge Rodriguez said.
Authorities say the couple’s 16-year-old daughter lived with them and had access to the plants.
According to the criminal complaint there was also feces and urine all over the home. Bernalillo County Animal Care removed more than 10 dogs from the property.
A deputy said it was “difficult to breathe.” So bad, the county later condemned it for this reason, along with a lack of electricity and holes in the ceiling.
The two have histories of not appearing in court. Judge Christine Rodriguez set David’s bond at $1500 ash or surety, and Maria’s at $2500 cash or surety.
As for Dennis – he’s still on the run. His mom and her boyfriend told FBI agents they haven’t seen him since the morning of the robbery.