Mayor Eric Adams and top police brass announced Wednesday that a Harlem day care was found to be harboring deadly ghost guns in an unlocked room near where children are supposedly cared for.
Police said the raid took place on Tuesday at Alay’s Daycare located in an apartment at 58 East 117 St. after the business’s hours of operation. Inside cops recovered a host of deadly firearms, parts that are used to assemble 3D printed guns, and 3D printers themselves.
“This is a heartbreaking scenario of thinking that you are dropping your child off to a safe haven just to find out it was a dangerous environment,” Adams said, peering down at one of the recovered firearms at police headquarters. “We are clear that we must protect children in this city and we’re going to lead the entire country with some of the methods that we will put in place to carry out this awesome responsibility.”
The bust comes less than two weeks after the owner of Divino Nino, her husband, and two others were cuffed for storing fentanyl beneath the floorboards of their Bronx daycare, killing 1-year-old Nicholas Dominici due to exposure to the drug. The case sparked a pledge from Adams and top cop Edward Caban to unearth other day care facilities that could potentially be fronts for illegal activity.
Alay’s Daycare, the subject of the latest police raid, was run out of a private dwelling much like Divino Nino.
Police cuffed 18-year-old Jamal Coley, whose mother operated the Harlem business, alongside two minors. Charges include illegal firearms possession, manufacturing, assault weapons and reckless endangerment, according to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Coley allegedly printed firearm parts out of the day care. Police, in their raid Tuesday, retrieved two 3D printed firearms, a 3D printed assault pistol, and 3D printers. They also found a malnourished dog that was later rescued by the NYPD animal cruelty squad.
“These types of guns have captured the attention of our kids. The NYPD is not going to stand by and allow emergent trends to take hold of our city,” Caban said. “The NYPD is dialed in on this trend and will hold anyone accountable for these crimes.”
Rebecca Weiner, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism for NYPD, said at the press briefing that the NYPD has recovered 290 ghost guns this year alone while 436 were retrieved in 2022.
Adams also said that he will be looking to see if daycare inspectors should be joined by police in order to ensure that the facilities don’t harbor drugs and firearms. He said that inspectors will be paying closer attention in the meantime, given the deadly incident two weeks ago and the ghost gun busts.
“There’s an extensive process already in place, but we are just dealing with a new enemy, and we have to stay ahead,” Adams said.