United States

One-Year-Old Dies from Fentanyl Overdose at New York Nursery

A tragic incident in a New York nursery sees a one-year-old child die from a fentanyl overdose, leading to murder and drug conspiracy charges against the nursery owner and tenant

Tragic Fentanyl Overdose in New York Nursery

In a shocking and tragic incident, a one-year-old child lost his life due to a suspected fentanyl overdose at a nursery in New York City. The incident, which occurred in the Bronx, also led to three other children being admitted to the hospital after exposure to the potent narcotic. As a result, drug conspiracy and murder charges have been filed against two individuals.

The children, ranging in age from eight months to two years old, are believed to have inhaled fentanyl while at the daycare center. Fortunately, three of the children were administered Narcan, an emergency medication used to reverse opioid overdoses.

The child's father expressed his grief and loss, saying, "I love him, I miss him, I want him back. But there's nothing that will give me back my son."

A subsequent search of the nursery uncovered a kilo of fentanyl hidden "underneath a mat where the children had been sleeping earlier," according to NYPD Chief Detective Joseph Kenny.

Investigators also reportedly found three presses used for packaging kilos of drugs.

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

Manhattan US Attorney Damien Williams condemned the alleged actions, saying, "We allege the defendants poisoned four babies, and killed one of them because they were running a drug operation from a daycare center, a place where children should be kept safe, not surrounded by a drug that can kill them in an instant."

Police have estimated that the drugs recovered from the nursery could potentially have killed 500,000 people. Fentanyl, a synthetic painkiller known to be 50 times more powerful than heroin, has been linked to a surge in drug-related deaths in the United States.

Surveillance footage and phone records revealed that Mendez called her husband multiple times after discovering the children were ill before contacting 911. Her husband subsequently arrived and removed several full shopping bags from the nursery, according to officials. Mendez also allegedly deleted around 20,000 text messages from her phone before her arrest, although authorities were later able to recover them.

Mendez's husband, identified as a co-conspirator, is still being sought by authorities and was captured on camera fleeing the scene after the incident.

While a lawyer for Mendez denied the charges against her and asserted her innocence, both suspects have been deemed flight risks and are currently being held without bail. If convicted, they could each face a life sentence in prison.

Mayor Eric Adams also called for a national effort to combat the drug's potency, highlighting the deadly consequences of even a small amount of fentanyl.