Authorities Bust Man With 40 Pounds of Fentanyl

( — Less than two weeks after law enforcement discovered a drug ring operating out of a daycare center in the Bronx, investigators uncovered another drug mill less than a mile away, CBS News reported.

Last Tuesday, Juan Gabriel Herrera Vargas was spotted taking a suitcase filled with fentanyl onto the subway before exiting at Kingsbridge Rd. and walking toward an apartment where DEA agents intervened. Herrera Vargas fled, leaving the suitcase behind.

According to the DEA, agents seized over 40 pounds of fentanyl, most of it in the suitcase.

Later that night, Herrera Vargas was again spotted leaving an apartment at Kingsbridge and Health Avenue carrying another suitcase. This time, agents arrested him and discovered even more drugs in the second suitcase.

The estimated street value of the drugs seized was $1.5 million.

New York’s Special Narcotics prosecutor charged Herrera Vargas with criminal possession of a controlled substance, operating as a major trafficker, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.

Herrera Vargas’ arrest comes less than two weeks after 1-year-old Nicholas Dominici died and three other children were hospitalized after being exposed to fentanyl at the Divino Niño Daycare in the Bronx.

Four suspects have been arrested after police searched the daycare and found packages of drugs and other materials stored beneath a trap door in a play area, as well as a brick of fentanyl on top of children’s play mats and equipment used for packaging drugs.

Grei Mendez, 36, and Carlisto Aceveda Brito, 41, were arrested on September 17 and charged with multiple counts, including murder. Both were denied bail.

The daycare is owned by Mendez, who cares for the children in her home. Acevedo Brito rented a room from Mendez for $200 a month.

A third suspect, Renny Antonio Parra Paredes, was charged last Monday with narcotics distribution resulting in death. According to federal prosecutors, Paredes played a central role in selling the large stash of fentanyl and other narcotics that were found stored inside the daycare center.

However, Grei Mendez’s husband, Felix Herrera Garcia, 34, fled New York before he could be taken into custody. After a nearly 2-week search, Herrera Garcia was detained by Mexican authorities and transferred into US custody in California last Wednesday night.

According to federal prosecutors, after the children started to show symptoms of fentanyl poisoning, Mendez called Herrera Garcia first before calling 911. Security camera footage showed Herrera Garcia entering the home before EMTs arrived. He was then seen exiting the back two minutes later, carrying two loaded shopping bags.

Copyright 2023,