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Nearly 40 lbs. of fentanyl found blocks away from NYC day care where infant died

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Blocks away from the New York City daycare where a 1-year-old child died after being exposed to fentanyl law enforcement officers seized over 40 pounds of fentanyl, worth nearly $1.5 million.

Authorities said in a press release that they found the stash of fentanyl just six blocks away from the Divino Niño Daycare Center where Nicholas Dominici, 1, and two 2-year-old boys, and an 8-month-old girl were found unresponsive in the basement on September 15.

“The public outcry after the poisoning death of a toddler was not enough to stop a drug mill from operating just six blocks away from that Daycare,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino said.

Daycare in the Bronx

One child is dead and three others have been hospitalized after possibly consuming fentanyl at a Bronx day care center on Friday afternoon. (Peter Gerber for Fox News Digital)

Fentanyl

Law enforcement officers seized over 40 pounds of fentanyl, worth nearly $1.5 million on Tuesday. (New York Division, Drug Enforcement Administration)

According to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials, Juan Gabriel Herrera Vargas, 42, was charged with allegedly operating as a major trafficker, criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminally using drug paraphernalia.

THIRD SUSPECT CHARGED IN CONNECTION TO NYC DAY CARE FACILITY DRUG OPERATION, RESULTING IN DEATH OF 1-YEAR-OLD

“Herrera Vargas took danger one step further and wheeled over 40 pounds of fentanyl around the city and on the subway with no regard to public safety,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino said.

“Herrera Vargas took danger one step further and wheeled over 40 pounds of fentanyl around the city and on the subway…”

— DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino

In a press release from the DEA, officials said that police saw Vargas on Tuesday carrying a small black bag to the Kingsbridge Road subway station and followed him as he traveled from south and later made a northbound return trip on the subway.

When authorities confronted the suspected drug trafficker, he gave them his wallet and ran away leaving a small black and tan suitcase. Police said that they found 13 rectangular shaped kilogram bricks of what appeared to be fentanyl inside the suitcase.

NYC POLICE RELEASE PHOTOS OF DRUGS FOUND STASHED IN DAY CARE WHERE 1-YEAR-OLD DIED FROM FENTANYL EXPOSURE

Hours later, police said that they saw Vargas once again rolling a blue suitcase.

Law enforcement arrested Vargas and seized more suspected fentanyl that was stashed in 50,000 glassines wrapped together in 25 larger packages from inside the suitcase.

Trash bags covering windows

 Juan Gabriel Herrera Vargas covered his apartment’s windows with black trash bags. (New York Division, Drug Enforcement Administration)

When authorities began to search the 42-year-old’s apartment in the Bronx, they noticed that the windows were covered with black plastic trash bags. 

Upon further investigation, they found one kilogram of fentanyl, six pounds of loose powder, 10,000 filled glassines and other packing materials.

NYC DAY CARE OWNER, NEIGHBOR FACE FEDERAL CHARGES AFTER 1-YEAR-OLD DIES FROM FENTANYL EXPOSURE: PROSECUTORS

The DEA said that the results of the laboratory analysis on the narcotics are still pending.

Packaging materials

New York law enforcement also found packaging materials that Juan Gabriel Herrera Vargas allegedly used for drug trafficking.  (New York Division, Drug Enforcement Administration)

The discovery of the large drug mill comes after the arrests of Renny Antonio Parra Parades, Grei Mendez De Ventura and neighbor Carlisto Acevedo Brito who were arrested in connection to fetal fentanyl overdose at the daycare.

The Department of Justice unsealed a criminal complaint charging Parra Paredes, who was charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics resulting in death.

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Divino Nino Daycare owner De Ventura and Brito were both arrested on Sept. 16 and charged in federal court with conspiracy to distribute narcotics resulting in death and narcotics distribution resulting in death, which carry maximum sentences of life in prison.

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