Man Accused of Selling Cocaine Out of Illegal Home Daycare

By Kelly Burch 06/23/17

The man had been previously accused of selling 20 kilos of cocaine from his home in 2015.

children playing in a daycare-type environment

A California man has been charged with trafficking cocaine while also running an illegal home daycare from the same space, with children’s mattresses in a room with cocaine and kids playing nearby while drug deals were made. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, Felipe Talamante, 48, tried to sell 20 kilos of cocaine “straight from Mexico” to undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agents. When the undercover agents came to make the drug buy, they saw kids playing in the yard and a two-year-old being picked up from daycare. 

The agents “observed children of all ages being picked up and dropped off at Felipe’s residence,” in the Highland Park section of Los Angeles, the criminal complaint said.

While Talamante was held in custody facing federal charges, officials in LA filed a nuisance abatement lawsuit. That lawsuit would keep Talamante away from the property for a year and possibly allow the house to be sold. He would also face fines and penalties for running an illegal daycare. 

“The rampant drug activity we allege at this home is a dangerous blight on the community—and especially alarming because little kids are caught up in the middle of it. Imagine if your children were being cared for in the same house where cocaine was being sold,” City Attorney Mike Feuer said. “My office will do everything in our power to shut down what we allege is an incredibly toxic combination of illegal drugs and day care.”

However, police had previously arrested Talamante in 2015 at the same address. That time, he was also accused of selling 20 kilos of cocaine. It was not clear whether he faced charges at the time, or whether anyone else was involved with the running of the daycare or selling of drugs. 

In 2016, the amount of cocaine coming into the United States from South America increased dramatically. The Coast Guard seized a record amount of the drug, but Commandant Adm. Paul F. Zukunft said the government “can only act on about 20% of that because of the resource constraints we have. We’re giving 60% of what we know, literally, a free pass.”

DEA officials have said that cocaine production in Colombia has tripled over the past three years. 

“We’ve never seen cocaine production at these numbers, which tells you there is more cocaine being produced now than at the height of the Medellín and Cali cartels,” said Justin Miller, intelligence chief for the DEA’s Miami field division. “That’s significant.”

At the same time, cocaine laced with fentanyl is reportedly causing overdose deaths around the country. 

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.