Hetty Chang/Lori Bentley
Long Beach police arrested a woman on suspicion of selling drugs from her apartment, which they say doubled as an unlicensed day care. Hetty Chang reports from Long Beach for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014.
A Southern California childcare provider was arrested on suspicion of selling drugs out of an unlicensed day care center while children were present, police said Wednesday.
Debbie Louise Felix, 49, of Long Beach, was booked into a Long Beach jail on Jan. 31 on two outstanding warrants and later transferred to Los Angeles County jail.
"When we knew what we had here, we moved really quickly because we knew children were in danger," said Commander Paul LeBaron of the Long Beach Police Department.
The case broke Jan. 3, after police got a tip that Felix had been allegedly selling drugs out of the home that doubled as her day care, authorities said.
Felix evaded officers over the next few weeks and it appeared she was in the process of moving out of her home, police said.
NBC4 gained access to Felix's apartment, which she had been renting for about two years, according to Jack Elder, her landlord.
"I was shocked -- surprised," he said.
What appeared to be a child's poster hung on a door on the first floor, but other than that, there were no other signs children had been there.
The carpet and floors appeared dirty.
Felix had appeared to change the locks on the door and may have been renting out the rooms to other tenants, Elder said.
"I can't believe it," said neighbor Susan Wheeler. "This isn't the neighborhood for that sort of thing, especially if you're running a day care? Come on!"
Police would not comment on the amount of drugs seized.