A third person has been charged in connection with the death of a toddler who was apparently poisoned by fentanyl at a day care center in New York City. Renny Antonio Parra Paredes, also known as “El Gallo,” was charged with narcotics distribution resulting in death. This comes after authorities discovered four young children showing signs of opioid exposure at a Bronx day care center, with one-year-old Nicholas Dominici tragically passing away. Grei Mendez, the day care center operator, and Carlisto Acevedeo Brito, a tenant of the apartment, were previously charged with murder of “depraved indifference.”
Federal prosecutors allege that Paredes played a significant role in selling large quantities of fentanyl and other drugs, which were packaged and stored inside the day care facility, including on mats used by the children for sleeping. The search for the alleged ringleader of the drug-peddling operation is ongoing.
During a court hearing, Mendez’s attorney argued that the drug dealing allegations were primarily focused on Mendez’s husband, not her. However, a search of the day care center revealed a kilogram of fentanyl on children’s play mats in a closet, as well as drug paraphernalia hidden in the floor where the children played.
Cell phone location data suggests that Paredes made regular stops at the Bronx day care center, and text messages indicate communication between Paredes, using the label “El Gallo,” and Brito regarding the operation. The court filings also mention messages where “El Gallo” warned Brito about the presence of police.
Renny Antonio Parra Paredes is expected to appear in federal court on Monday. According to Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damien Williams, the arrest of Paredes is seen as a step towards obtaining justice for the child victims and their families.