Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Charges In Connection To The Death Of Toddler At Bronx Day Care

A man connected to the death of a 1-year-old who was exposed to fentanyl at a Bronx day care in September pleaded guilty to federal charges on Monday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Felix Herrera Garcia, 35, is facing 20 years to life in prison after he pleaded guilty to the possession of and conspiracy to distribute narcotics resulting in death and serious injury, along with other federal charges.

Herrera Garcia, who had fled after the incident in September and was found in Mexico later that month, pleaded guilty the same day he was scheduled to face trial.

Prosecutors alleged that Herrera Garcia, his wife and two others conspired to distribute drugs, and possessed large quantities of fentanyl despite being in the presence of children daily at the day care operated by Garcia’s wife in her apartment.

On Sept. 15, Herrera Garcia’s wife, Grei Mendez, 36, called the police to report that some of the children at her day care were unresponsive. Three of the children affected received treatment at a hospital. The fourth child, 1-year-old Nicholas Feliz-Dominici, died of a fentanyl overdose, his autopsy revealed.

Herrera Garcia, Mendez and two others were arrested in connection to the case and were charged Monday. In a statement, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams described the four co-conspirators’ “disregard” for the children’s lives as “simply staggering.”

“As alleged, instead of diligently safeguarding the well-being of those children, she and her co-conspirators put them directly in harm’s way, running a narcotics operation and storing deadly fentanyl out of the very space in which the children ate, slept, and played,” Williams said.

During a search of the apartment, police found a “large quantity of fentanyl, other narcotics, and drug paraphernalia” hidden in compartments beneath the floor of the day care’s playroom.

Herrera Garcia, along with one of his co-conspirators, admitted in court to operating an illegal fentanyl operation out of the day care, where they processed the drugs for sale, according to Williams.

Renny Antonio Parra Paredes, one of the co-conspirators, pleaded guilty last month to conspiring to distribute narcotics, and admitted that his actions caused bodily harm and injury in connection to the children’s poisoning last year. He faces 20 years to life in prison, just as Herrera Garcia.

“We said at the time that this case shocks the conscience of the City, and now Herrera Garcia and Parra Paredes have been brought to justice for this heinous crime,” Williams said in a statement Monday.

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