A third person has been arrested for suspected fentanyl poisoning that resulted in a 1-year-old's death at a New York City daycare, Scripps News reports. Renny Antonio Parra Paredes was charged in federal court Monday with conspiracy to distribute narcotics resulting in death. Authorities still are searching for the operation's ringleader. "Today's arrest is one more step toward obtaining justice for the child-victims of this heinous offense and their families," said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damien Williams. Paredes is the third person to be arrested in the case, which stems from the Sept. 15 suspected fentanyl poisoning of four kids at the Bronx's Divino Niño Daycare. An 8-month-old girl and two 2-year-old boys were hospitalized, and 1-year-old Nicholas Dominici was pronounced dead. Officials say Parades played an "instrumental role" in selling the large quantities of fentanyl and other narcotics found under trapdoors in the apartment's floor and on top of mats where children played and slept, including that day during nap time.
Authorities allege Paredes was making daily trips to the daycare in the weeks leading up to the incident and that he was in constant contact about the drug operation with Carlisto Acevedo Brito, who was renting a room inside the daycare from its owner, Grei Mendez. Mendez and Brito have been federally charged with murder of depraved indifference. Police continue to search for Mendez's husband, who authorities say helped Mendez cover the operation that day. A criminal complaint says Mendez called her husband twice before calling 911 to report the children's unresponsiveness, and footage shows him carrying two full shopping bags out of the apartment's back alley minutes before responders arrived. One message Paredes allegedly sent to Brito warned that if Mendez's husband was "going to take the garbage out, the police are out there on the side."