Bronx Daycare Center Harbors Drug Ring

Six Bronx residents have been charged with operating a prescription drug ring that is said to have used a day care center to store much of its supply, the authorities said on Wednesday.


Since October 2011, according to complaints filed in federal court in Manhattan this week, the six defendants collaborated to send drugs like Ecstasy, Percocet, Viagra and Xanax from the Bronx to various addresses across the country.

On Wednesday, Drug Enforcement Administration agents recovered about 122,000 pills at four locations in the Bronx. Thousands of pills were found in the apartment of one defendant, Ingrid Navedo, 44, at the same address where she operated a day care center, officials said.

“As alleged, these six defendants operated a veritable pill mill,” said Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. “The charged conduct was especially dangerous, as the defendants potentially victimized young children whose unsuspecting parents sent them to a day care center that allegedly doubled as a warehouse for thousands of their illegal pills.”

Ms. Navedo and three other defendants — Rafael Alfonso Vargas, 24, Dorkis Gonzalez, 20, and Doris Guerrero, 47 — were charged with one count each of conspiracy to violate the narcotics laws of the United States.

Two other defendants — a second Rafael Vargas, 51, and his son, Rafael Vargas-Taveras, 21 — were charged with the same count, along with an additional charge of distribution and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone.

Efforts to reach lawyers for the defendants were unsuccessful.

Rafael Vargas and other members of the group directed prospective buyers to send money orders or cash to bank accounts that he and his son controlled, one complaint said. During one transaction, the complaint continued, Mr. Vargas received about $4,800 in cash from a confidential informer working with the Drug Enforcement Administration in exchange for 400 Percocet pills.

According to another complaint, a search of Ms. Navedo’s residence turned up “several thousand pills” in a closet “several feet away” from children’s toys and pieces of furniture, near what was believed to be the part of the home used as a day care center.

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