DA: Suspects indicted in Bronx day care fentanyl death
Bronx DA Darcel Clark says the operator of a Bronx day care, her husband and his cousin have been indicted on murder and other charges in the fentanyl exposure that killed a 1-year-old.
Grei Mendez, 36, Felix Herrera Garcia, 34, and Carlisto Brito, 41, were arraigned today on a slew of charges, including second-degree murder. All three defendants pleaded not guilty to all of their charges.
The family of Nicholas Dominici, the 1-year-old who died due to fentanyl exposure in the day care, wept inside of the courtroom as the defendants walked in.
“This was not really a day care center,” said Clark. “This was a drug operation, and they used babies as a shield in order to run that operation.”
Three other children had to be revived after the exposure to fentanyl at the day care.
"A beautiful little boy lost his life and three precious children aged eight months to two years became seriously ill from fentanyl poisoning," Clark said. "This is a catastrophe. Our sorrow is matched only by outrage because these babies were shields to protect a narcotics operation. Nicholas’ death was entirely—excruciatingly—needless and avoidable. We will get justice for him, the other children and their families.”
Clark says that a kilogram of fentanyl was found in a closet at the day care next to toys, and that 6 kilograms of fentanyl and heroin were found under a trap door in the floor covered by a child’s nap mat.
The heartbroken father of Dominici says that they were lied to by the owner of the day care and that they had trusted them.
“The real business was behind the screen,” said Otoniel Feliz. “Taking the life of the kids… to make money this way.”
Clark says she plans to delve deeper into the home day care centers across the borough to ensure that they are trustworthy and safe.
MORE: 3rd person charged in suspected fentanyl poisoning death of 1-year-old at New York City day care