Third arrest made in New York fentanyl nursery child death

September 26, 2023
Nicholas Dominici was due to turn two in November
Nicholas Dominici was due to turn two in November

NEW YORK — Police have arrested a man accused of helping to distribute drugs found in a New York nursery where a one-year-old died after being exposed to fentanyl.

Renny Antonio Parra Paredes, 38, is the third person arrested following the death of Nicholas Dominici this month.

Large quantities of narcotics were found in a search of the Bronx nursery.

Officials on Monday said they found a stamp during a search of the suspect's home that was used to mark drug packages.

Paredes is charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics resulting in death.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says that Paredes played a key role in an alleged drug trafficking operation being run out of the Divino Niño daycare center.

Police were called to the center on 15 September for a suspected drug overdose. Four children were found to have been sickened by the drugs, which were stored near where they slept.

Toddler Nicholas Dominici later died.

"Traffickers often hide contraband in inconspicuous or unsuspecting locations with no regard for the safety of others," said DEA Special Agent Frank Tarentino in a statement announcing the newest arrest.

"In this case, the daycare's floorboards were used as concealment, putting children's lives at risk who innocently sat on the floor to play."

The nursery's owner, Grei Mendez, 36, and her tenant, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, 41, are facing federal charges of narcotics possession with intent to distribute resulting in death, as well as conspiracy charges.

A lawyer for Ms Mendez has said she denies the charges and was unaware that drugs were being kept in the nursery.

A search of Paredes' apartment revealed devices used to prepare narcotics, prosecutors say, including digital scales and plastic bags.

Police say the drugs found at the daycare bore a "Red Dawn" stamp. The search of the suspect's home also turned up similar packaging and a stamp with the words "Red Dawn".

US Attorney Damian Williams said the arrest "is one more step toward obtaining justice for the child-victims of this heinous offense and their families".

Police are still searching for the husband of the daycare owner, who was seen on CCTV leaving with large bags before police arrived.

Investigators believe he may have fled to the Dominican Republic, police sources told CBS News, the BBC's US partner. — BBC

September 26, 2023
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