A suspect who had escaped from a daycare center in New York City where a child died and three others fell ill due to suspected fentanyl poisoning has been apprehended in California. According to investigators, the day care centre was being used as a drug lab, and the alleged perpetrator is the latest individual to be charged in connection with the incident. It is alarming that such a dangerous operation was being conducted in a place where young children played and slept.
After nearly a fortnight of investigation, U.S. investigators finally tracked down Felix Herrera Garcia, aged 34, and arrested him in Mexico. As per the federal prosecutors in Manhattan, Garcia was handed over to the U.S. authorities in California on Wednesday evening. Before Garcia’s arrest, his wife, who was running the daycare centre, and two other men were apprehended.
According to the U.S. attorney’s office for California’s southern district, Herrera Garcia was present in a federal court on Thursday and was directed to be transferred to New York.
Following the sudden death of Nicholas Dominici, a 1-year-old boy at a daycare centre in the Bronx, a search ensued to find the culprit. The incident occurred during nap time when other children in the centre showed signs of opioid poisoning and had to be given Narcan to be revived.
Upon searching, law enforcement officials discovered a block of fentanyl that was being kept right on top of playmats meant for young children. They also stumbled upon various tools and equipment that are typically used in the packaging of illicit substances.
Upon conducting a thorough search, authorities found a trap door in a play area. Upon further investigation, law enforcement discovered additional packages of drugs and other related materials beneath the trap door.
According to officials, Herrera Garcia’s spouse, Grei Mendez, first contacted him before contacting 911 when their children exhibited signs of opioid poisoning on September 15th.
According to the security camera footage, he was seen entering the building before the arrival of the medics. After two minutes, he was spotted leaving through a back alley with two heavy shopping bags in his hands.
According to U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, Herrera Garcia left the daycare centre while the innocent children behind were suffering from the harmful effects of his trade.
As per prosecutors, Mendez allegedly got rid of over 21,000 text messages that she had exchanged with her spouse by deleting them.
It remains uncertain whether Herrera Garcia has legal representation to speak on his behalf. As of late Thursday, court records did not indicate the name of his attorney. Meanwhile, Mendez’s lawyer has maintained that her client did not know about any drugs inside the facility at the time.
Mendez and another resident of the building where the daycare centre was located, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, face murder charges in state court about the child’s tragic death. Additionally, on Monday, Renny Antonio Parra Paredes was charged with narcotics distribution that ultimately resulted in the child’s passing.
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