Title: New York City Day Care Operators Face Federal Drug Charges After Child’s Death
In a shocking turn of events, the operator of a New York City day care and a relative are now facing federal drug charges after a devastating incident that resulted in the death of a 1-year-old boy and left three other children dangerously ill from opioids.
Grei Mendez, the operator of Divino Niño Daycare, and Carlisto Acevedo Brito, who was renting a bedroom inside the day care, were initially charged with local murder charges. However, federal drug charges have now been lodged against them, shedding light on a much larger issue.
The children were found to have fentanyl, an intensely strong synthetic opioid, in their systems. Fentanyl is known to be deadly even in minute doses. Shockingly, a kilogram block of fentanyl was discovered stored on top of children’s playmats in the day care, according to a federal affidavit.
Furthermore, evidence found in Brito’s room suggested the existence of a large-scale drug operation, including a “kilo press” used to recompress drugs in powder form. It is a disturbing revelation that such dangerous substances were present in a place meant to provide care and safety to young children.
The incident came to light when the children were found unresponsive and Mendez immediately called 911. Emergency medical teams had to administer Narcan, an overdose-reversing drug, to all four children. Tragically, the 1-year-old boy lost his life at the hospital.
Mendez and Brito have been charged with murder, attempted murder, and depraved indifference by the Bronx district attorney’s office. Both defendants deny any knowledge of drugs in the day care, though Mendez’s credibility has been called into question. She initially misled investigators about visitors at the day care around the time of the overdoses.
Authorities became suspicious when Mendez’s husband was seen entering the day care empty-handed and leaving with shopping bags just before emergency personnel arrived. This behavior led investigators to believe he was attempting to conceal evidence. Furthermore, Mendez deleted thousands of messages from an encrypted messaging application on her phone, dating back to March 2021.
Shockingly, the day care had recently passed an unannounced annual inspection in early September, raising concerns about the effectiveness of current monitoring systems.
The addition of federal drug charges will not affect the murder case against Mendez and Brito, according to the Bronx District Attorney’s Office. The case will move forward to a grand jury to assess the evidence and determine the appropriate legal action.
This tragedy serves as a stark reminder of the importance of thorough background checks and ongoing monitoring in day care centers to safeguard the well-being of our children. The authorities must conduct a comprehensive investigation to ensure justice is served and prevent such deplorable incidents in the future.
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