NYPD investigators find secret compartment filled with drugs inside Bronx day care where child died due to fentanyl

THE NEW YORK On Thursday, police were back at the Bronx daycare where several children last week fell ill and one-year-old died after being exposed to fentanyl.

They discovered more drugs as they carried out a fresh search warrant. That took place just after two of the detained suspects had another court hearing.

The Divino Nino Day Care on Morris Avenue was thoroughly searched by the NYPD’s Crime Scene Unit during the course of the day. Investigators in formal attire were observed entering and exiting the structure.

They discovered a “trap,” or concealed space, in the playroom’s floor. They claim that detectives discovered additional fentanyl and other drugs totaling more than five kilos inside the 4- by 6-foot space.

During a previous search, officials found a kilo of fentanyl stored on top of playmats used by children, and kilo presses.

A monument for Nicholas Dominici, a 1-year-old who died after being exposed to fentanyl, was forming on the pavement outside the building. At the daycare, a number of other kids fell ill and needed to go to the hospital.

After a 1-year-old’s fentanyl death, New York City officials are considering changing the day care inspection procedure.
Owners of the daycare, 36-year-old Grei Mendez and 41-year-old Carlisto Acevedo Brito, who rents a room there, were detained and accused with murder with a depraved disregard in state court.

They were also charged earlier this week with federal drug conspiracy offenses, which entail a sentence of 20 years to life in prison.

Mendez sobbed and vehemently denied having any knowledge of a narcotics enterprise during that court appearance. Brito also rejects it.

Mendez is charged by federal authorities with aiding her husband’s escape as well as participating in the narcotics distribution.

Grei Mendez and Carlisto Acevedo Brito are charged with murder in the death of Nicholas Dominici, a 1-year-old, at a daycare facility in the Bronx.
She is reported to have made three calls that day—two to her husband and one to 911—after realizing that the kids weren’t waking up from their slumber. Within minutes of those calls, according to the prosecution, her husband was observed entering the Bronx apartment and leaving the structure through a back alley with two full shopping bags.

Police have sworn to find him despite the fact that he hasn’t been seen since.

Mendez and Brito appeared in court at the Bronx Supreme Court on Thursday morning. Both parties’ attorneys waived their attendance in court because neither was present because they are now being held in federal custody.

The lawyers declined to comment following the hearing.

In Bronx Supreme Court, both defendants declined to give a grand jury testimony. Their subsequent court appearance is set for October 5.

As the case progresses, keep checking CBS New York for the most recent information.

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