Police: 2 arrested in heroin bust with kids in house

Brandon Marrero, Victoria Brightwell both arrested on charge of child neglect

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two people were arrested during a drug raid Friday at a house on the city's Westside where five children lived, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. 

Brandon Marrero, 25, and Victoria Brightwell, 30, are charged with child neglect. Marrero also faces a charge of trafficking in heroin. 

A tip led authorities to obtain a warrant to search the house on Dennard Avenue, which smelled of animal feces and urine, the police report said.

During the raid, the Sheriff's Office said, a SWAT team found trafficking amounts of heroin, several loaded and unsecured firearms and live ammunition, all of which were accessible to the children. 

In the rear yard, police said, there was an open septic tank just feet outside the back door.

The house was condemned. 

Kenneth Graden, who owns the business next door, told News4Jax Monday that he saw it happen.

"The boy that lived there, his dad was in the driveway with two of the children. Three of the other children were at school. And they raided the house," Graden said. "I'm next door. I see a lot of traffic coming and going all the time. So I mean, you know, nine times out of 10 you can figure it out for yourself."

Graden said the children have been placed with other family members. 

"Basically, I don't worry about the grown-ups. I worry about the children because, I mean, the children don't know what's going on," Graden said.