Drug Enforcement Administration

New York

Raymond P. Donovan, Special Agent in Charge

September 12, 2013

Contact: Erin Mulvey

Phone Number: (212) 337-2906

Drug Traffickers Used Bronx Day Care: Kilo Of Cocaine, Oxycodone Pills And Firearm Seized; 3 Arrests

NEW YORK - Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Brian R. Crowell, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York (DEA), New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, Joseph A. D’Amico, Superintendent of the New York State Police, and Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’(ICE) Homeland Security (HSI) New York James T. Hayes Jr., announced today the seizure of more than a kilogram of cocaine, over 1,000 pills of oxycodone, 150 grams of crack-cocaine, a loaded firearm and approximately $180,000 from a house containing a licensed day care center, Fun World Childcare, and a second location in the Parkchester section of the Bronx.

As part of this investigation, last night agents and officers with the DEA's New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force arrested three individuals and conducted court authorized searches of 1499 Rosedale Avenue, where Fun World Childcare is located, and a stash location across the street at 1502 Rosedale Avenue. The defendants include alleged drug traffickers Gregorio Hanley and his wife Johanna Vasquez, who runs the day care center, and alleged drug buyer William Ferrer.

In total, more than $80,000 in narcotics was seized during the searches, including at least one kilogram of cocaine, which carries a street value of approximately $50,000, and over 1,000 pills of oxycodone worth up to $30,000.

The DEA’s New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force is comprised of agents and officers of the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York City Police Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security (HSI), the New York State Police, the U. S. Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, New York National Guard, Office of Foreign Asset Control and the New York Department of Taxation and Finance. The Strike Force is partially funded by the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking (HIDTA), which is a federally funded crime fighting initiative.

At approximately 8:50 p.m. yesterday, agents and officers observed Hanley leave Fun World Childcare and hand a plastic bag to two individuals inside a vehicle. Agents and officers followed the vehicle and stopped it a short time later at Harrod Avenue and Bronx River Parkway. Ferrer was arrested in possession of approximately 150 grams of cocaine.

Subsequently, at approximately 11:30 p.m. agents and officers conducted a court authorized search of 1499 Rosedale Avenue. Inside they found the day care center, adjoined by a residential area on the main floor occupied by Hanley, Vasquez and their two young sons. Downstairs were multiple basement apartments. The day care center, the residential area and the basement apartments are linked by interior doors.

During the search, agents and officers found $20,000 in a kitchen cabinet in the residential area occupied by Hanley and Vasquez. A door from this apartment leads down to a basement apartment, where more than a kilogram of (approximately 2 1/2 lbs.) was found, including approximately 300 grams packed inside a child's insulated lunch bag, located in a refrigerator. Also in this apartment were more than 1,000 pills of oxycodone and 150 grams of crack-cocaine, as well as drug packaging materials and paraphernalia. This basement apartment opens onto an outdoor play yard connected to the childcare center.

Hanley was in possession of keys to another apartment across the street at 1502 Rosedale Avenue. Agents and officers searched that apartment pursuant to a search warrant. Inside a hidden compartment in a TV stand they found approximately $160,000 in cash and a loaded 9mm Taurus 1911 firearm that was reported stolen in Pennsylvania. Also seized were drug packaging materials and a money counter.

A criminal complaint filed by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor charges Hanley and Vasquez with multiple counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, Criminal Use of Drug Paraphernalia, Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Unlawful Dealing with a Child. Hanley is also charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon. Ferrer faces two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance.

The three defendants are expected to be arraigned this evening in Manhattan Criminal Court.

Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said, "This was a significant drug trafficking operation as evidenced by nearly $300,000 in drugs and cash seized, along with a loaded gun for protection against rivals. The scope of the trafficking operation makes it all the more horrifying that it used as cover a fully operational day care center."

DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell stated, “Today’s arrests were made on the worst level of drug traffickers, those that consciously put innocent children and their families in harm’s way.  These traffickers used the Fun World Childcare as a front for drug trafficking while simultaneously endangering the lives of innocent children and their hard working parents. I commend the men and women of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force for their dedication to duty and protecting our city’s children and their families from these traffickers who intentionally put children in jeopardy to avoid detection by law enforcement.”      

NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said, "The disregard for human life and public safety of these drug dealers was so limitless that one dealer used the residence where his two young sons lived to sell cocaine and illegal prescription drugs, even keeping a firearm near where they and multiple other children were cared for. Thanks to the NYPD detectives and their federal partners in this case, these drug traffickers no longer can subject innocent and law abiding Bronx residents to the dangers that come with illicit narcotics."

New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D'Amico said, “These arrests bring to light the length at which dealers will go, to try to protect their illegal activity. The use of a child day care center as cover for a drug operation brought the dangerous world of the drug trade to our most unsuspecting and vulnerable citizens. It is through the continued partnership with members of the New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force that we are able to successfully weed out these dealers and prevent their drugs and drug related violence from spilling into our communities.”

“The arrests announced today not only disrupt a cocaine and illegal pharmaceutical pill distribution network,” said James T. Hayes Jr., Special Agent in Charge of HSI New York. “They also preserve the safety of the young children of the community who were put at risk by the defendants’ reckless behavior.”

The charges and allegations are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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