Federal prosecutors are now getting involved in the case that led to the death of a 1-year-old and the hospitalization of three other children due to fentanyl poisoning at a New York City day care.
Day care operator Grai Mendez and her husband’s cousin Carlisto Acevedo Brito, to whom Mendez rented a room inside the day care, were charged Tuesday with federal narcotics conspiracy, murder and attempted murder. His were in addition to already announced state charges. “Desperate indifference” in the death of 1-year-old Nicholas Dominici.
Although Mendez told authorities she had no knowledge of the presence of fentanyl at the day care, the new charges allege that she did and that she tried to conceal it before contacting authorities about the poisoned children. Also tried.
According to the criminal complaint, Mendez called her husband twice and then called 911 on Friday afternoon after she told police the three young children in her care were not waking up from nap time.
Surveillance footage shows that her husband entered the apartment in which the center was located and left with at least two full shopping bags through a back alley just minutes before emergency medical personnel arrived and Dominici, a 2-year-old boy and Found an 8 month old baby. -Old girl unconscious.
All three children, as well as a fourth child who showed signs of opioid intoxication after leaving day care, were given Narcan, but Dominici did not survive.
When searching a Bronx apartment later Friday, officers found three kilo presses, which are used to weigh and package narcotics, and a kilogram of fentanyl on top of a playmat where children used to nap.
Federal authorities said there are apparently thousands of deleted texts between Mendez and her husband that suggest an effort to cover up a drug operation taking place in the apartment.
As of Tuesday afternoon, federal authorities were still searching for Mendez’s husband, and his name had not been filed in state or federal court.