Daycare Overdose: Deleted Texts, Fentanyl Discovery And Federal Charges

A one-year-old child tragically died of an opiate overdose at a daycare facility in the Bronx. Court documents show that the owner of the daycare deleted over 21,000 encrypted text messages she had sent to her spouse after the fatal incident. More children were harmed due to the drugs on the premises.

On Tuesday, Grei Mendez, the daycare owner, and her husband, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, faced two federal charges. The couple rented a room at the Kingsbridge apartments where the daycare operated. Law enforcement uncovered fentanyl and money stored with the childrens nap mats.

Mendez and Brito also face charges of “conspiracy to distribute narcotics resulting in death” and “possession with intent to distribute narcotics leading to death.” These new charges come as more details emerge about the events following the discovery of the unresponsive infant, Nicholas Dominici.

According to the federal complaint, Mendez exchanged approximately 21,500 text messages with her husband. All of these messages were deleted after the infant’s tragic death.

During her interrogation, authorities discovered that Mendez had informed her husband about their questioning regarding him and his whereabouts. In response, he instructed her to tell them that he was at work and advised her to seek legal representation.
Authorities reported finding approximately one kilogram of fentanyl hidden in a taped box alongside several thousand dollars worth of the lethal drug inside a closet adjacent to the area where the children napped. Mendez claims she was unaware of the presence of this highly potent narcotic.

The narcotic within the daycare also harmed three other young children, including an 8-month-old infant who tested positive for fentanyl. Police also found two devices used to mix the drug with other narcotics.

According to prosecution documents, Mendez informed the police that she cleaned the Divino Niño Daycare six days a week. However, she suggested that the kilo press discovered on the premises “could have been placed there by a previous tenant,” despite cleaning the facility almost daily.

Mendez also asserted that there were no other visitors at the daycare on the day of the incident. However, her husband was spotted removing suitcases from the establishment moments before first responders arrived. Prosecutors allege that Mendez made three phone calls before dialing 911.

Mendez first called another daycare employee and then called her husband twice. She appeared to be trying to conceal the events. According to court filings, Mendez reportedly made numerous additional phone calls to her husband after the police were summoned.
Her husband arrived at the apartment and stayed for approximately two minutes. Then he rushed down a back alley carrying two full shopping bags. The children remained unresponsive and in need of medical attention while he was removing the bags from the daycare.

United States Attorney Damian Williams commented on the matter. He condemned the actions of the pair as “unconscionable” and “inexcusable.” He said, “The disregard shown by Mendez and her co-conspirators for the lives of the children under her care is simply staggering.”

If found guilty of the federal charges, both Mendez and Brito could face a life sentence, with a minimum term of 20 years in prison. New reports reveal that there was a 4×6” trap door under the floorboards in the daycare. The hiding spot contained various types of narcotics and what they believe to be more fentanyl.

The children involved were all transported to Montefiore Hospital. A 2-year-old boy is in critical condition and an 8-month-old girl is in stable condition. The fate of Mendez and Brito now rests in the hands of the judicial system, where they may face the possibility of life behind bars if found guilty.