OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
6:05 PM – Tuesday, September 27, 2023
The husband of a Bronx daycare owner where a 1-year-old infant died from a fentanyl overdose has been caught by authorities in Mexico.
The man was identified as Felix Herrera Garcia, who is the fourth arrested suspect linked in the investigation. Garcia, the husband of the owner of the Bronx daycare center, was reportedly arrested on a bus in Sinaloa by Mexican authorities and United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents.
Previously, Herrera Garcia was last seen on the daycare center’s security footage on September 15th, which was the day that 1-year-old Nicholas Feliz Dominici passed away from a fentanyl overdose.
The 1-year-old was found unconscious by first responders and after tests were conducted it was discovered that the child had suffered from fentanyl poisoning.
Three other children from the daycare center were also hospitalized for suspected fentanyl poisoning, however, the three recovered after being administered Narcan.
In the security footage, the husband of the daycare owner was seen on September 15th fleeing from the center holding two full shopping bags, which investigators believed had bricks of fentanyl inside them.
The charges against him have not yet been revealed.
Three suspects have previously been arrested in connection to the death of Nicholas Feliz Dominici. Herrera Garcia marks the fourth person to be arrested.
The suspects include Grei Mendez, 36, the owner of the day care center, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, 41, Renny Antonio Parra Paredes, 38, and Felix Herrera Garcia, the husband of the daycare center owner. The suspects were hit with federal drug charges for their roles in the alleged drug operation.
Herrera Garcia had been on the run, according to NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny, and was driving through Texas to Mexico. Authorities believe that Herrera Garcia was seeking to travel to the Dominican Republic, where he is originally from, according to authorities.
He was detained by Mexican and U.S. federal agents while riding on a bus in Sinaloa, the capital of one of the deadliest drug organizations in the world.
An attorney for the daycare center owner explained at a court hearing last week that the drug dealing allegations were “about Ms. Mendez’s husband, not her.”
Herrera Garcia was seen on surveillance footage escaping from the daycare center with heavy plastic bags just after Mendez warned him about the unresponsive children.
“Minutes later, he left the day care and fled out the back alley, carrying two full shopping bags. All of that happened while the children, the babies, were suffering the effect of fentanyl and were in desperate need of help,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NYC Damian Williams said.
The other suspects, including Mendez and Acevedo Brito, were charged with murder of “depraved difference” last week. Both were mandated to be arrested without bail.
Federal allegations against them include conspiracy and drug possession with intent to distribute that will cause death.
“Parents entrusted Grei Mendez with the care of their children,” Williams said in a statement. “As alleged, instead of diligently safeguarding the well-being of those children, she and her co-conspirators put them directly in harm’s way, running a narcotics operation and storing deadly fentanyl out of the very space in which the children ate, slept, and played.”
On Monday, the third suspect, Parades, also known as “El Gallo”, was charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics.
Cell phone location data revealed that Paredes regularly visited the daycare center and that he was in constant communication with Acevdeo Brito, according to court filings.
In a room where kids slept inside the daycare center, investigators discovered “traps,” or concealed compartments, in the floor. There, they also allegedly discovered suspected drugs and packaging materials.
Three children who were victims of the fentanyl poisoning were hospitalized and treated with Narcan. The fourth child, 1-year-old Dominicini, passed away from a fentanyl overdose.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is used to treat severe pain when it is used legally. However, if the drug is abused, or mixed with other drugs like heroin, it is a driving force in the opioid crisis and the cause of overdose deaths in the U.S., officials say.
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