Daycare at center of federal drug probe closed
BATON ROUGE - A daycare at the center of a federal drug investigation is closed.
A WBRZ news crew found the doors locked, parking lot empty, and the playground in the back quiet even though toys were tossed about Thursday afternoon. Neighbors, who asked not to be identified, said there were children at the Emanuel Child Development and Learning Center Wednesday. The daycare is on Swan Avenue, near Southern University.
"I thought about enrolling my great grandson here, but now that I've learned this it's not the type of daycare anyone should bring their children," Pastor Clee Lowe said.
Thursday, WBRZ found a man parked at the daycare. He told us he was waiting for a kid. When we began asking questions, he started his car and left.
As for Lowe, he's thanking a higher power since he didn't enroll his loved one yet.
"Given the climate and attitude of drug dealers across America and even right here in Baton Rouge, they could have easily shot up the daycare center with innocent children in there, even set it on fire just to get revenge," Lowe said. "It's sad to hear that kind of news about a daycare in our community."
Thursday, federal authorities unsealed an indictment against the owner, a man that shares her last name along with 37 others. Investigators claim the group was part of a "violent" drug trafficking network which used the daycare to store and distribute cocaine in the Baton Rouge and Ascension Parish areas.
"The indictment is historical for the Middle District of Louisiana," U.S. Attorney Walt Green said. "It is the largest number of defendants indicted in a single indictment."
Authorities released details of violent threats the group is accused of making, including a murder plot. Click HERE to read more about the allegations.