A third person has been charged in the case of a narcotics operation that resulted in a 1-year-old's death at a New York City day care.
Renny Antonio Parra Paredes was charged in federal court Monday with conspiracy to distribute narcotics resulting in death, according to authorities who say they're still searching for the operation's ringleader.
"Today's arrest is one more step toward obtaining justice for the child-victims of this heinous offense and their families," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damien Williams said in a statement.
Paredes is the third person to be arrested in the case, which stems from the Sept. 15 suspected fentanyl poisoning of four kids at the Bronx's Divino Niño Daycare. Three kids — an 8-month-old girl and two 2-year-old boys — were hospitalized after the exposure, and 1-year-old Nicholas Dominici was pronounced dead soon after authorities responded to the scene.
Officials say Parades played an "instrumental role" in selling the large quantities of fentanyl and other narcotics authorities found under trapdoors in the apartment's floor and on top of mats where children played and slept — including that day during nap time, from which three children didn't wake up. Police also found a distinctive stamp on glassine envelopes in the day care that they later found along with drug making materials in Paredes' current residence.
Authorities allege Paredes was making daily trips to the day care in the weeks leading up to the incident and that he was in constant contact about the drug operation with Carlisto Acevedo Brito, who was renting a room inside the day care from its owner, Grei Mendez.
Mendez and Brito, who is related to Mendez's husband, have both been federally charged with murder of depraved indifference.
Police now continue to search for Mendez's husband, who authorities say helped Mendez cover the operation that day. A criminal complaint says Mendez called her husband twice before calling 911 to report the children's unresponsiveness, and footage shows him carrying two full shopping bags out of the apartment's back alley minutes before responders arrived.
One message Paredes allegedly sent to Brito warned that if Mendez's husband was "going to take the garbage out, the police are out there on the side."
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