Police discover bags of fentanyl under the “drop floor” of a New York daycare where a 1-year-old died

NEW YORK (AP) — The owners of a New York City daycare center where a Toddler died and three others became ill According to police, people exposed to opioids last week hid bags of fentanyl under a trapdoor in the children’s play area.

New York investigators were executing a search warrant on the Bronx apartment Thursday when they found the narcotics, including a large amount of fentanyl, and other paraphernalia hidden under plywood and tile floors. photos Shared by police Display bags full of powder in the “drop floor,” a few steps from a shelf of children’s toys.

The grim discovery came nearly a week after four young children who attended the Bronx apartment daycare were treated for opioid poisoning. One of the victims, year-old Nicholas Dominici, is believed to have died as a result of exposure.

The daycare’s operator, Grei Mendez, and a tenant of the building, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, were charged with murder due to “depraved indifference” in Dominici’s death. Authorities are still searching for a third person, Mendez’s husband and Brito’s cousin.

Before drugs were found under the trapdoor, police had already announced the discovery of a kilogram of fentanyl stored near mats used by children to sleep, as well as several devices used by drug traffickers to mix drugs and press them into bricks.

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Before alerting first responders, she called her husband, authorities said. Surveillance footage showed him entering the building a few moments later and then leaving it through a side alley with several shopping bags.

“All of this happened while the children, the babies, were suffering from the effects of fentanyl poisoning and in desperate need of help,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damien Williams said at a news conference Wednesday.

During an appearance in federal court in Manhattan, a lawyer for Mendez said she had no knowledge of the drug operation but suggested her husband was responsible for the drugs.

Brito, 41, did not comment during his court appearance. Questions sent to his lawyer were not answered.

Both face life in prison if convicted of possession of narcotics with intent to distribute, causing death and one count of conspiracy. They were also charged in state court with murder, manslaughter and assault.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Brian Ashcraft

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