A man was arrested more than a year after a 7-year-old boy picked up a bag of drugs he dropped in a Subway sandwich shop.
The child found the bag containing cocaine and Fentanyl powder in the chips rack of the East Haven, Connecticut, Subway, on Nov. 22, 2017. The bag had several smaller bags inside of it, Fox News reported.
“Unaware of the potential dangers it could have posed, the child began handling the bag of narcotics briefly before turning it over to his mother,” police said in a news release, obtained by Fox News.
Surveillance footage obtained by Fox 61 shows the child pulling the bag out of the chips rack and squeeze the bulging white powder part of the bag right before his mother grabs it out of his hand and examines it.
“It looked like the mom was on high alert too, though. I think it’s also coming down to parents being alert,” local resident Katie Schurk told NBC CT.
“Well it probably took the mom a minute to process because you don’t think that that’s what your kid’s going to hand you from the chips,” Eileen Schurk added.
The Subway store manager called the police.
#Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid painkiller and it's killing Canadians
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“Fentanyl is an extremely dangerous drug,” University of New Haven lecturer and former FBI Special Agent Ken Gray told NBC CT. “Just coming in contact with the package alone would expose the person finding the drugs to potentially an overdose of the drug.”
The woman told police she entered the restaurant to eat with her two children, Fox 61 reported. Police said the child who found the drugs was not directly exposed, and so did not require medical attention.
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Henry Marrero-Rodriguez was arrested and charged with risk of injury to a minor and possession of narcotics/controlled substance.
Police reviewed surveillance footage and found that Marrero-Rodriguez entered the restaurant a half hour before the child found the drugs. The video shows him going into his pocket for his cellphone while the drugs fall out. Marrero-Rodriguez and a female companion leave the subway unaware that the bag remained on the chips rack.
“That’s crazy. I have two kids, so that would scare me a lot,” Connecticut resident Lisa D’Orlando told NBC CT, commenting on the case. “It’s bad thinking it’s around to begin with, never mind at Subway.”
In the footage obtained by Fox 61, the drugs appear to pop out of Marrero-Rodriguez’s pocket with the cellphone, but he turns his body and angles it away from where the drugs fall at that moment, and his eyes go directly to the cellphone screen.
Marrero-Rodriguez was identified with the help of the surveillance footage and outside agencies. The 47-year-old was held on $50,000 bail and appeared before a judge on March 8. It is not clear why the arrest was made more than a year after the incident.
On March 3 a police officer in Fort Dodge, Iowa, was found unresponsive in his car and had to be revived after exposure to a substance during a traffic stop. The officer was exposed to the unknown substance while arresting the driver for driving under suspension and providing false identification information, The Messenger reported.
The officer first started feeling dizzy on his way to jail with the suspect. Police believe the substance to be a form of Fentanyl, though further testing is required.