The owner of the day care center, however, maintained she had no knowledge of the presence of the highly-potent opioid, which sickened three other young children, including an 8-month-old girl who tested positive for fentanyl use.
Grei Mendez, a 36-year-old who operated the Divino Niño day care inside a Bronx apartment, pleaded not guilty on Sunday to murder charges in the death of Nicholas Dominici. A man who rented a room inside the Bronx apartment, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, 41, is awaiting arraignment on the same set of charges.
Police said they recovered approximately one kilogram of fentanyl, along with a press device used to combine the drug with other narcotics, inside the closet of a hallway connected to the apartment. A second press was located inside the adjoining room occupied by Brito, according to a criminal complaint.
An attorney for Mendez, Andres Aranda, said his client lived above the day care center and rented out a room to Brito, her husband’s cousin, for $200 per month.
“Apparently when the day care was not open, people came in and out of the apartment,” Aranda said.
The Biden administration's open border policies have been blamed for tons of fentanyl being smuggled into the country. Some reports say thousands of young Americans have died as a result of the deadly drug.