A man who fled a New York City day care center where a child died earlier this month from suspected drug exposure is in custody in California and faces federal drug charges, authorities announced Thursday.
Authorities had been searching for Felix Herrera Garcia, 34, for almost two weeks following the discovery of the four children at the Bronx day care with signs of exposure to fentanyl. A 1-year-old boy died.
Authorities allege a drug operation ran out of the center, and included the presence of equipment used to package drugs in portions for sale. They said fentanyl and other drugs were stored inside the day care center, including on top of playmats for the children.
A further search led to the discovery of a trap door in a play area, under which police found packages of drugs and other materials.
In the complaint against Herrera Garcia, authorities say his wife, day care operator Grei Mendez, called him in the afternoon of Sept. 15 before calling 911. He then came to the apartment where the children were.
Authorities said he was then seen on video surveillance footage leaving the apartment, carrying two full shopping bags.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams said in a release that Herrera Garcia was taken into custody by Mexican authorities working with U.S. law enforcement, and arrested upon entry in California.
He was expected to make an initial appearance in a federal court there. No information on his legal representation was immediately available. He faces up to life in prison.
Three other people have already been charged in the case. Last week, Mendez and Carlisto Acevedeo Brito were charged with murder, and on Monday, Renny Antonio Parra Paredes was charged with narcotics distribution resulting in death.