NYC daycare where toddler died after inhaling fentanyl had drugs hidden under trap doors in room where children slept: – officers find enough of the highly-potent drug to kill 500,000 people
NYPD confirmed discovery Thursday, five days after cops unmasked Divino Nino Daycare in the Bronx, as a secret drug mill
One-year-old Nicholas Feliz Dominici’s inhaled traces of the deadly opioid along with three other children – he died of fentanyl poisoning, but an 8-month-old and a pair of two-year-olds survived
Officers made the find during their initial search of the facility, after the death and hospitalizations of the affected children
Daycare owner operator Grei Mendez De Ventura, 36, was arrested and now faces federal drug and murder charges
Ventura’s alleged accomplice, her brother-in-law Carlisto Acevedo Brito, 41, was also arrested and charged
The pair who face life in prison for their alleged part operating the pill mill, had initially been arrested on state charges on Sunday night
A third suspect is still being sought, as police have launched a manhunt for De Ventura’s husband, who is believed to be the ‘ring leader’ in the drug operation
One-year-old Nicholas Feliz-Dominici, died on Friday after ingesting fentanyl at a Bronx day care owned and operator Grei Mendez De Ventura
New York police uncovered more drugs stashed in secret cubbyholes at a Bronx day care where a one-year-old boy died of fentanyl poisoning last week. The opioid was hidden under a trap door near where where the young daycare pupils would regularly lay down to sleep.
The discovery, confirmed Thursday by the NYPD, comes five days after cops unmasked Divino Nino Daycare in Kingsbridge as a secret drug mill, following young Nicholas Feliz Dominici’s inhalation of the deadly opioid alongside three other tots.
The other victims, an 8-month-old girl and a pair of two 2-year-old boys survived, but one-year-old Dominici ultimately succumbed to the notoriously lethal affects of the drug, which is often used to lace pills made by illegal distributors.
More drugs have been found at a Bronx day care where a one-year-old boy died of fentanyl poisoning last week – under a hidden trap door near where where the babies would regularly lay down to sleep
Grei Mendez De Ventura, the 36-year-old owner of the daycare, and her cousin-in-law Carlisto Acevedo Brito, 41, are in prison custody charged with running an illegal drug business, with feds alleging they used the center as an unsanctioned pill mill unbeknownst to parents.
On Thursday, after finding a brick of fentanyl and working pill press stashed on the premises days earlier, cops announced they uncovered a litany of other drugs and paraphernalia as well, all stashed under the aforementioned secret door.
Officers said they uncovered a drug cache which includes enough of the highly potent opioid fentanyl, to kill 500,000 people.
Daycare owner operator Grei Mendez De Ventura, 36, [photo], was arrested. She has been hit with federal drug and murder charges
Ventura’s alleged accomplice, her brother-in-law Carlisto Acevedo Brito, 41, [photo], was also arrested. Both face life in prison for their alleged part operating the pill mill
The force shared a statement Thursday afternoon that included photos of the once-secret stash, as the two suspects face potential life sentences for their alleged part in the scheme.
The statement revealed cops made the find during after their initial search of the facility, following the death and three hospitalizations.
‘As part of an ongoing overdose fatality investigation in a Bronx daycare center on Sept. 15, 2023, a search warrant was conducted by @NYPDDetectives,’ the tweet from the department read.
‘A large quantity of Fentanyl, other narcotics, & drug paraphernalia was recovered in a trap floor in the play area at the daycare center.’
Discovery comes five days after cops unmasked Divino Nino Daycare in Kingsbridge as a secret drug mill, following a one-year-old’s inhalation of the deadly opioid. It was not clear what substances aside from fentanyl were uncovered during the Wednesday bust
The overdose happened this past Friday in Kingsbridge, at the unassuming daycare feds said doubled as an illegal pill factory.
Cops did not specify what other types of illicit items were uncovered during the bust, but photos show several bags packed with several powder like substances, some distinctly different from a package of fentanyl already seized days before.
That find came in the form of a kilogram sized brick, found to be fentanyl, located on top of children’s playmats earlier in the week, as well as a ‘kilo press’ used to run the secret drug mill, a federal complaint associated with the ongoing case alleges.
NY Daycare where toddler died of drug overdose that is Grei Mendez De Ventura, who has been arrested along with her alleged accomplice Carlisto Acevedo Brito, on federal drug charges
A kilogram of fentanyl was stashed on top of play mats at a Bronx daycare center which resulted in the death of a one-year-old boy
A ‘kilo press’, which is typically used to re-compress drugs in powder form was discovered and two other presses were found in the day care center
Prosecutors would later claim De Ventura and her husband’s cousin ‘used the day care center front to cloak’ the unassuming facility’s true intent, which is the mass production of fentanyl to be later be sold for a profit.
The complaint further alleges the drug duo would cut up the drugs to be pressed near the area where the children nap, likely leading to the unforeseen overdoses.
Just 2 milligrams of the opioid, similar in appearance to 10 to 15 grains of table salt, is considered lethal.
Law enforcement sources believe that the basement under the day care where Brito lived was actually a front for drugs.
Sources familiar with the incident told the media publications how De Ventura reportedly stood on the sidelines as her cohort cut the opioids before their alleged scheme came falling apart Friday, when some particles kicked into the air are believed to have been breathed in by the four children.
Fed claims that on that day, Mendez called her husband, who is still being sought by police, two times before dialing 911 to report the overdoses.
The court documents also claimed she deleted more than 21,000 text messages from an encrypted phone app as police moved in on her location.
NYPD said basement under the day care where Carlisto Brito lived was actually a front for drugs
Authorities found a kilogram block of fentanyl in the same space the children occupied, the federal complaint stated.
‘There, 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,’ an affidavit signed by Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Kyle Harrell said.
While Brito’s room, which he rented for $200 a week, had equipment which pointed to a large-scale drug operation, according to police.
A ‘kilo press’, which is typically used to re-compress drugs in powder form was discovered and two other presses were found in the day care center.
They are ‘commonly used by narcotics traffickers at ‘mills’ or other locations where narcotic drugs are broken down, combined with fillers or other narcotics, and portioned for sale,’ according to the affidavit.
A small memorial was seen placed at the door of a Bronx day care center Friday, just after the death was announced
Detectives said they had also recovered video of both the husband and other people fleeing the day care with bags of unknown contents in the initial confusion
On Friday, before police arrived at the Morris Avenue apartment, De Ventura had called several people, including her husband, before calling 911 to get help for the children.
Detectives said they had also recovered video of both the husband and other people fleeing the day care with bags of unknown contents in the initial confusion.
De Ventura and Brito stored large quantities of fentanyl ‘despite the daily presence of children, including infants,’ the criminal complaint said.
The duo of Daycare operator Grei Mendez De Ventura and her accomplice Carlisto Acevedo Brito had initially been arrested on state charges on Sunday night, which included murder, manslaughter and assault, and held without bail
The pair had initially been arrested on state charges on Sunday night, which included murder, manslaughter and assault, and held without bail.
But they are now in federal custody and face up to life in prison if they are convicted.
Damian Williams, US Attorney for Southern District of New York, said the case ‘shocked the conscience of the city’ in a press conference on Tuesday.
A third suspect is still being sought. Police have launched a manhunt for De Ventura’s husband, who is believed to be the ‘ring leader’ in the drug operation, officials said.
Ventura’s attorney has claimed that she was unaware drugs were being stored in her day care by Brito.
‘There, 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,’ an affidavit signed by an Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent said
She opened the Bronx day care earlier this year, and on September 6 passed a surprise inspection.
Divino Nino Daycare was registered under the city’s Department of Children and Family Service since it was considered a home-based business.
The day care was registered to care for up to 8 children, between 6 weeks to 12 years old, records show.
Feliz Dominici’s grief-stricken parents Zoila Dominici and Otoniel Feliz said the day care was recommended by Kingsbridge Heights Community Center. Feliz was the youngest of their five children.
His grief-stricken mother told CBS News: ‘Look at what happened. If I had known, I wouldn’t have taken him.’
NYPD Monday said officers discovered ‘a kilogram of fentanyl in an area that was used to give the children naps,’ and the fentanyl was ‘laying underneath a mat where children had been sleeping earlier.’
US Attorney for the Southern District, Damian Williams spoke at Monday’s announcement of the new federal charges
Frank A. Tarentino III [photo], Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Division covering the State of New York spoke at a press conference on Monday about fentanyl and the babies that were exposed to the deadly chemical at a Bronx day care
According to Kenny, ‘one grain, two grains of fentanyl can take down a grown man so even the residue itself for a small child, would cause the death.’
According to reports, there were no previous complaints made against Divino Nino Daycare.
But, some neighbors had their concerns about what was taking place behind the doors of the apartment. One longtime neighbor said she never saw any children – arriving or leaving- the residence.
‘It was a day care for a year with no children. For one year, she had a day care with no children but people go in. But no babies?,’ she said.
She also revealed that daycare owner De Ventura would not allow her own child to stay in the apartment where other children were being cared for: ‘A day care with no children and men coming in and out. Yes, we knew something. We knew something, something was not good happening there.’
‘We all said, ‘Drogas.’ How could you not know?’
She alleged that De Ventura’s day care started getting busier two months ago when she started getting some children, including a baby two months ago, and then two more children a few weeks before the tragedy.