1 of 2 | Police on Thursday said additional drugs were found in the floor of a Bronx day-care center. Photo courtesy of NYPD/X
Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Authorities in New York City announced Thursday that additional drugs have been found concealed by a trap floor of a Bronx apartment that served as a day-care center in which a 1-year-old boy died last week from a suspected fentanyl overdose.
The "large quantity" of fentanyl and other drugs and drug paraphernalia were found Wednesday amid a search of the apartment, police said in a statement, while releasing photos of the trap floor.
An assortment of presumed narcotics can be seen in the photos wrapped in Ziplock bags.
A law enforcement official told CNN that the drugs found weighed between 8 and 10 kilograms.
Previously, authorities had found 1 kg. of fentanyl upon playmates in a closet during an initial search of the daycare that followed police being called to the scene midday Friday concerning three unresponsive children.
The children were rushed to the hospital where one of them, a 1-year-old boy, died. A fourth child picked up earlier from the day care by their guardian was later taken to a local hospital after becoming lethargic and unresponsive.
The three surviving children were hospitalized from suspected fentanyl overdoes.
Grei Mendez, the owner of the Bronx day-care center, and Carlisto Acevedo Brito, who lived in the apartment's bedroom and is a purported cousin to Mendez's husband, were indicted by a grand jury in the Bronx on Thursday in connection, WABC reported. The charges remained sealed.
"I may have not given birth to them, I may not have been parents who sent them to that day-care center, but every single person in this county feels what they feel, that they entrusted day-care center to take care of their children," Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said.
The revelation of additional drugs and the grand jury indictment comes days after Mendez and Brito were charged by the U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday with one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics resulting in death and one count of narcotics distribution resulting in death.
The charges each carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors have accused the pair of distributing narcotics from the daycare from at least July.
The court document also states that a man identified as Mendez's husband may be involved as he was seen in surveillance footage removing bags from the day-care center after medical services were called to the scene on Friday but before they arrived.
Mendez also is accused of deleting 21,526 encrypted messages between her and her husband.
The pair were arrested Saturday night on charges of manslaughter, assault, criminal possession of a controlled substance and endangering the welfare of a child.