Recent court documents have revealed a disturbing twist in the tragic case of a 1-year-old who lost their life to an opiate overdose at a daycare facility. Grei Mendez, aged 33, the owner of the daycare, and Carlisto Acevedo Brito, aged 41, who rented a room within the same apartment building where the daycare was located — now face serious federal charges.
NEW — Federal charges unsealed against Bronx daycare operator and co-defendant related to overdose death of 1-year-old last Friday pic.twitter.com/ShDQJHke0r
— Ben Feuerherd (@benfeuerherd) September 19, 2023
Mendez and Brito find themselves accused of “conspiracy to distribute narcotics resulting in death” and “possession with intent to distribute narcotics leading to death.” These charges were brought following the discovery of a lifeless infant, Nicholas Dominici.
According to the federal complaint, Mendez engaged in roughly 21,500 text messages with an alleged drug co-conspirator, purportedly her husband. Shockingly, all of these text messages were deleted after the infant’s tragic death. During Mendez’s interrogation, authorities uncovered more unsettling details.
Mendez alerted her spouse that she was being questioned about him and his whereabouts. In response, he instructed her to claim he was at work and advised her to seek legal counsel.
To make matters worse, approximately one kilogram of fentanyl was seized from a closet adjacent to the sleeping area used by young children.
The lethal drug was concealed within a taped box, alongside several thousand dollars. Disturbingly, this dangerous substance caused harm to not only Nicholas Dominici but three other young children who tested positive for fentanyl exposure.
In an equally alarming development, law enforcement discovered two pressing devices designed for combining fentanyl with other narcotics. Mendez’s account of events raised a few eyebrows after suggesting the kilo press found on the premises “could have been placed there by a previous tenant.”
Moreover, she allegedly made three phone calls before dialing 9-1-1, one to a fellow daycare employee and two to her husband, all seemingly aimed at covering up the unfolding tragedy. Court documents also reveal that Mendez continued to communicate with her husband after the police were alerted.
When he arrived at the apartment, he lingered briefly, then hastily departed through a back alley, clutching two heavily laden shopping bags, while the children remained unresponsive and in need of medical attention.
The disregard shown by Mendez and her co-conspirators for the lives of the children under her care is simply staggering. If Mendez and Brito are found guilty of the federal charges they now face, both could be sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum mandatory term of 20 years.