POSTED: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 10:00pm
UPDATED: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 10:04pm
New York City, NY (WPIX-CNN) — A sign attached to a white, steel fence outside Fun World Child Care Center on Rosedale Avenue in the Bronx told visitors it was a day care facility—with security cameras inside.
Now, it seems, the cameras might not have been there to protect the children.
Federal agents arrested a young couple operating the center, accusing them of running a major narcotics-trafficking operation, while putting about 15 children in their care in extreme danger.
Gregorio Hanley, 41, and Johanna Vasquez, 31, have two, small boys who also lived in the home at 1499 Rosedale Avenue, which doubled as the day care center.
"There was a lot of cash there, making them prime targets for stick-up operations," said Bridget Brennan, the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for New York City. "There was great risk to the children."
Agents found $20,000 stuffed into kitchen cabinets at the day care center but discovered most of the money at a house diagonally across the street, inside an apartment. The federal investigators found a TV stand in the apartment that had a secret compartment. Inside, they discovered $160,000 in cash, along with a loaded, 9mm pistol.
Brennan told PIX 11 that cops found a kilo of cocaine at the day care center—with additional cocaine stashed inside a child's "Hot Wheels" lunch bag inside the refrigerator.
They also discovered one thousand Oxycodone pills with a high street value.
Gregorio Hanley was busted, not long after cops witnessed him leaving the house on Rosedale Avenue, just before 9 pm Wednesday. They watched him hand a plastic bag to two people inside a car. Agents followed the vehicle and arrested one of the men inside, William Ferrer, charging him with possession of about 150 grams of cocaine. Shortly afterwards, the raid started at the day care center.
Agents found most of the drugs in a basement apartment that led to an outdoor play yard, used by kids at the day care center.