Three Pennsylvania men charged with using day care center to sell heroin

Three Pennsylvania men have been charged with dealing heroin out of a day care center after the children left for the day.

The Shamokin News-Item reported that Christian Kehler, 37, Ryan Varano, 28, and Frederick Russo, 49, were each charged with felony criminal conspiracy and possession with intent to deliver and misdemeanor possession of an illegal substance.

Jesus Lil’ Helpers Daycare in Shamokin is leased to Varano’s mother, Kelly Ebersole, and he told police that on nights and weekends, he and Kehler used the facility to sell, distribute and use heroin. Authorities say the men used children’s tables and chairs to package the heroin and load syringes.

“It's upsetting to realize that heroin is being dealt in the same places where we send our children to be safe while we work," District Attorney Ann Targonski told the paper. "This particular instance occurred during hours when the day care was not in operation. However, the idea that people are doing drugs and selling drugs in what we would consider a safe haven for children is concerning."

On Saturday night, a call was placed to police saying a man inside the daycare had overdosed. When they arrived, they found Kehler lying on the floor unconscious and performed CPR until ambulance personnel arrived. That was when police discovered the drug operation and arrested the three.

All three men have previously been charged with felonies related to selling heroin. Online court records didn't include information on lawyers to comment on the charges.

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