Investigators have charged a day care operator and two other people after discovering hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of drugs and cash in the day care center, alleging that drugs were dealt from the Bronx facility. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
At first glance, the lunch container seen at left looks innocuous enough, sitting inside a refrigerator.
But open it up, and authorities say they found 300 grams of cocaine.
"Cocaine in the that amount in a insulated lunch box, that's very attractive, and kids might think is full of sugar or candy or some kind of fun thing," said Bridget Brennan, the city's special narcotics prosecutor. "I think it's just horrifying."
It's just part of the stash that Brennan said agents uncovered in a Bronx day care this week that had at least 15 children enrolled.
"Once we saw that a day care center was involved, we wanted to move very quickly on this case," Brennan said.
Wednesday night, officers say they saw Gregorio Hanley hand a plastic bag to William Ferrer in a vehicle outside the Fun World Child Care. They followed Ferrer and say they arrested him with 150 grams of cocaine.
Inside the day care, investigators allege they found $20,000 in Hanley's and Johanna Vasquez's apartment. Through a door and downstairs, they allege they found 150 grams of crack, about 1,000 oxycodone pills and roughly a kilo of cocaine, on the same floor as the day care.
They say they found a key on Hanley, which they say led agents across the street to an apartment with $160,000 cash and a loaded 9mm handgun.
"It was a very high-level narcotics organization operating out of a functioning day care center, and I've never seen that combination before," Brennan said.
Prosecutors say Vasquez actually held the state license for the day care and that it was all a cover for the drug operation.
Now, all three face drug charges that could send them to prison for a decade or more.