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Queens DA: 46 Charged In Undercover Drug Bust; 2 Allegedly Operated From Daycare

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Marijuana plant

Marijuana plant (credit: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An undercover investigation in Queens has let to criminal drug charges against 46 people, including 2 men who allegedly operated out of a daycare facility.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, the 7-month investigation at the LeFrak City housing complex resulted in the discovery of defendants selling crack and powdered cocaine, marijuana, heroin and prescription medications to undercover cops.

READ MORE: Additional Details From DA’s Office 

Brown told 1010 WINS what was “most troublesome” about the bust was that fourteen undercover purchases were allegedly made from two of the defendants who worked from Burke-Arthur Day Care Center, located in the complex. The center’s listed owner is Diane Burke.

Hector Rodriguez and Donnell Burnhill, who authorities said respectively are Ms. Burke’s son and the father of her daughter’s baby, are accused of selling undercover officers marijuana, crack cocaine and Ecstasy pills from the daycare.

“A day care center is obviously a place where parents drop off their kids in the expectation that they’ll be shielded from harm,” Brown said.

Authorities said those arrested — who ranged from 17 to 63 — have been charged with various crimes, including criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Brown also said that while authorities were executing the warrant, one defendant — said to be an inspector with the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission — tried to evade being arrested by releasing a pit bull.

“That’s just another example of what you’re dealing with when you’re trying to take down these drug operations,” he said.

Brown said that authorities would continue to work with various law enforcement as well as public officials and community leaders to “keep the residents of places like LeFrak safe and help provide them with a better quality of life.”

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