Owner’s husband arrested in Bronx nursery fentanyl child death
Officials report that Felix Herrera-Garcia, the spouse of the proprietor of a New York City daycare center where a child tragically died from suspected fentanyl poisoning, has been apprehended in Mexico.
Herrera-Garcia had evaded capture after being captured on surveillance cameras fleeing the Bronx daycare center carrying large bags.
He becomes the fourth individual to be arrested in connection with the death of one-year-old Nicholas Dominici earlier this month. Law enforcement discovered a significant quantity of fentanyl and other drugs concealed beneath a trapdoor at the daycare center.
On Tuesday, the US Drug Enforcement Administration and Mexican authorities jointly arrested Mr. Herrera-Garcia on a bus in Sinaloa, Mexico, as reported by CBS News, the BBC’s US partner. The BBC has reached out to the Bronx District Attorney’s Office for a statement.
Nicholas Dominici had only been at the Divino Niño daycare center for a week when he was exposed to fentanyl hidden in the nap room, according to police. Three other children were hospitalized after coming into contact with the potent narcotic. An examination of one of the victims’ urine confirmed the presence of the drug.
The daycare center’s owner, Grei Mendez, aged 36, and her tenant, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, aged 41, are both facing federal charges of narcotics possession with intent to distribute, resulting in death, as well as conspiracy charges.
Conviction on these charges could result in a life sentence for both defendants. A lawyer representing Ms. Mendez has stated that she denies the charges and was unaware of drugs being stored in the daycare center.
Surveillance footage and phone records show that after finding the children ill, Ms Mendez called her husband, Mr Herrera-Garcia, several times before contacting 911. Her husband then came and removed several full shopping bags from the nursery, officials said.
On Monday, a third arrest was made in the case. Officials say Renny Antonio Parra Paredes, 38, helped run a drug trafficking operation from the Divino Niño daycare center.
During a search of the suspect’s home, police say they found a stamp that was used to mark drug packages as well as devices used to prepare narcotics.
The incident shocked residents in the north-western Kingsbridge Heights neighborhood of the Bronx, which had the highest rate of deaths from drug overdoses out of all New York City boroughs in 2021.