3rd arrest in toddler's drug overdose death at New York City day care

NEW YORK — A third arrest has been made in the suspected drug overdose death of 1-year-old Nicholas Dominici at a Bronx day care.

Renny Antonio Parra Paredes was arraigned in federal court Monday morning. He’s charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics resulting in death.

Police are still searching for the day care owner’s husband, who they believe may have fled to his native Dominican Republic, sources told CBS New York. The NYPD has notified national police in the Dominican Republic, sources said.

In addition to Dominici’s death, three babies were hospitalized after being exposed to fentanyl on Sept. 15 at Divino Nino Day Care, police said.

Federal authorities claim large quantities of narcotics were being stored under floorboards, on playmats and in a closet at the day care on Morris Avenue.

“And they were inspected a week before this happened. It’s ridiculous,” one neighbor said.

“I don’t know how this happened. I don’t know why this happened,” neighbor Elizabeth Florentino added.

MORE: New York City leaders consider changing day care inspection process after 1-year-old’s fentanyl death

Grei Mendez, who owns the day care, and her husband’s cousin, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, were arrested days after Dominici died.

The Drug Enforcement Administration alleges Paredes, nicknamed “El Gallo,” or “The Rooster,” played an instrumental role in the drug distribution operation.

MORE: Yale researcher finds alarming nationwide rise in child fentanyl deaths

During a search of Paredes’ apartment, investigators claim they found tools and instruments used to prepare and distribute narcotics, including strainers, tape, a grinder, plastic bags and digital scales.

Law enforcement also said they found what appeared to be two clear bags filled with a grayish powder and a rectangular brick-shaped package, which appeared to contain drugs.

The indictment against Paredes alleges officials found glassine envelopes with the same red stamp reading “Red Dawn” that was found at the day care.

If found guilty, Paredes faces 20 years to life in prison.

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