Husband of Bronx day care owner caught in Mexico to face federal charges

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The husband of the woman who owned the Bronx day care where a 1-year-old boy died after being exposed to fentanyl is being criminally charged in Manhattan federal court on Thursday.

Felix Herrera Garcia was arrested in Mexico after two weeks on the run from the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Marshals and transported to California, according to the NYPD and federal authorities. He is the fourth person to be arrested in connection with the deadly day care, where police found a kilogram of fentanyl stored beside children’s playmats and underneath floorboards, along with drug processing equipment.

“Herrera’s arrest on the other side of the nation reflects our tireless pursuit of Herrera, who fled the day care even as the children he abandoned inside were suffering from his poisonous trade,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement on Thursday.

Herrera Garcia’s husband, day care owner, Grei Mendez, has been charged with murder, manslaughter, criminal possession of a controlled substance and child endangerment in Bronx criminal court. Mendez and her alleged accomplice, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, are also being charged in federal court. Police say Acevedo is Herrera’s cousin and was renting a room from the couple.

Another Bronx man, Renny Antonio Parra Paredes, known as “El Gallo,” was arraigned in federal court on Monday for reportedly conspiring to distribute narcotics resulting in death.

A spokesperson for the NYPD did not know whether Herrera would also be charged by police. The Bronx district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to an inquiry.

Mendez reportedly deleted approximately 21,526 text messages between her and her husband, including texts warning Herrera that police were looking for him, according to court records.

Before calling 911 to report that the children were unresponsive, Mendez called her husband twice, according to Thursday’s statement from federal officials.

Minutes before emergency responders arrived, surveillance footage shows Herrera walking into the day care then out through a back alley carrying two shopping bags. He “hurried through overgrown grass and bushes to exit the area,” the court statement said.



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