Prosecutors have brought federal narcotics charges against the husband of the owner of a New York City daycare center following the tragic death of a one-year-old child due to fentanyl exposure. This unfortunate incident unfolded at the Divino Niño daycare center in the Bronx on September 15, prompting legal action.
Felix Herrera Garcia, the spouse of the daycare center owner, Grei Mendez, stands accused of these federal charges. Garcia had fled to Mexico but was apprehended there this week and subsequently extradited to the United States. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced his arrest on Wednesday night.
In addition to Herrera Garcia, three other individuals have also been charged in connection with this case: Grei Mendez, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, and Renny Antonio Parra Paredes.
The disturbing nature of this case involved the operation of a clandestine fentanyl operation within the confines of a Bronx daycare facility, as stated by U.S. Attorney Damian Williams.
The incident occurred on September 15 when Nicholas Dominici, just one of several children affected, became seriously ill at the daycare center. Grei Mendez made a 911 call at approximately 2:40 p.m., according to an affidavit submitted with the criminal complaint by a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent.
However, what raised suspicion was that right before placing the emergency call, Mendez contacted Herrera Garcia. Surveillance footage revealed his arrival at the daycare center from a neighboring building. He entered the daycare center and left through a rear alley carrying two bags filled with undisclosed items just before first responders arrived.
Authorities discovered a kilogram of fentanyl hidden on the children’s sleeping mats, a kilo press at the daycare center, and concealed compartments designed for storing drugs in the flooring.
Tragically, besides Nicholas, two more children fell unconscious at the daycare center, and a third child became lethargic and unresponsive after being picked up at home, as outlined in the affidavit. All these children were administered Narcan, an opioid overdose reversal medication, and hospitalized with severe injuries.
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Herrera Garcia faces charges of conspiracy to distribute narcotics resulting in death and possession with intent to distribute narcotics resulting in death. As of now, online court records for Herrera Garcia’s case were not accessible, and it remains unclear whether he has legal representation to speak on his behalf.