Husband of day care owner where kids exposed to fentanyl arrested

  • Prosecutors charged a day care owner after babies were exposed to fentanyl
  • A 1-year-old child died; three others were hospitalized
  • Day care owner's husband was arrested in Mexico on Tuesday

One child died and three others were sickened at a Bronx day care on Sept. 15, 2023. (WPIX)

(NewsNation) — The husband of the owner of a Bronx day care where a 1-year-old was fatally exposed to fentanyl was arrested in Mexico on Tuesday, law enforcement sources tell NewsNation local affiliate PIX11.

United States Marshals and authorities with the Mexican government apprehended the husband, Felix Herrera Garcia, while he was on a bus in Sinaloa, according to PIX11.

He had been wanted in connection to the Sept. 15 fentanyl poisoning of four children at Divino Niño in New York City. Federal prosecutors already charged his wife, 36-year-old Grei Mendez, as well as Garcia’s cousin.

Mendez is accused of calling her husband twice, as well as another person once, before she finally called 911 to help the unresponsive children, who didn’t wake up from their nap.

One of the children, 1-year-old Nicholas Feliz-Dominici, died, while two other siblings — 8 months and 2 years old — were hospitalized and revived with naloxone, which reverses the effects of opioid overdoses. A fourth child who was exposed was treated at a hospital.

A criminal complaint alleges Mendez’s husband can be seen on surveillance footage going into the day care empty-handed before first responders and police arrived. Authorities say he was seen two minutes later running out of the back alley of the building, carrying two shopping bags weighted down with contents.

There had been a drug operation at the day care from July through September, law enforcement alleged in the criminal complaint.

“Despite the daily presence of children, including infants, (the defendants) maintained large quantities of fentanyl, including a kilogram of fentanyl stored on top of children’s playmats,” the complaint stated.

When they came back after the initial bust to search the property, police found a “trap door” of sorts in the floor that was used to conceal drugs.

“This investigation is not that dissimilar than other investigations that we see play out across the country and here in New York City, where large wholesale distributors of different types of drugs like fentanyl, like methamphetamine, like heroin, like cocaine, are utilizing different types of stash facilities, stash houses and different methods of concealing their drugs,” Frank Tarentino, special agent in charge for the DEA in New York, said.

Drugs are concealed in the floor of a day care in the Bronx, New York City. (NYPD)
Crime

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