Two Arrested In Overdose Death Of Toddler

New York City police arrested two individuals on September 16 for the overdose death of a 21-month-old boy in their care. The boy was one of four children possibly exposed to fentanyl while at a daycare center. Police confiscated nearly a kilo of the synthetic opioids and tools that are used to combine fentanyl with other drugs.

Charges against Grei Mendez de Ventura, 36, and Carlisto Acevedo Brito, 41, include murder, manslaughter of a person under 11 years old; manslaughter recklessly causing death; four counts of assault causing injury through risk of death; four counts of assault causing injury during a felony; four counts of assault causing serious injury; four counts of reckless assault causing serious injury; three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance; criminal possession of a controlled substance; criminal possession of narcotics; and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Three children were rushed to the hospital after a 911 call from the Davino Daycare Center. All showed signs of exposure to fentanyl and were treated with multiple doses of Narcan, a drug that temporarily reverses the effects of the drug. One of the children remains in critical condition.

The daycare center had recently passed a surprise inspection and had no faults. It is not clear whether the fentanyl processing equipment was simply overlooked during the inspection or if the owner of the center brought the equipment in later.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is increasingly smuggled into the United States. It is often smuggled as precursor materials that are combined with other drugs once in the U.S. Fentanyl is responsible for the recent spike in overdose deaths which have skyrocketed in the last few years.

A major issue facing the Drug Enforcement Agency is preventing the flow of drugs from Mexico. The Biden administration has refused to properly secure the border and has failed to hire adequate Border Patrol agents to effectively stop smugglers. In the first nine months of fiscal year 2022, agents seized 5,091 pounds of fentanyl at official ports of entry in San Diego County and Imperial County, the leading point of entry for drug smuggling. The amount is about 60% of all seizures in the country. Only about 10% of the fentanyl smuggled into the U.S. is found.

The official cause of death of the boy has not been released, but signs indicate that he was accidentally exposed to the drug. The boy’s parents had only started using the daycare center in the last week. They said there were no indications of a potential problem, adding that the center and its owner seemed like they genuinely cared about the children.