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Turns out Gates Candy & Grocery, a Bushwick bodega, was more than it seems upon first glance.
The convenience store was, in fact, a front for a major heroin operation, the NYPD found. The NY State Finance Department was conducting a routine inspection for untaxed cigarettes when it became suspicious and called in the police department.
The New York Daily News reports that the police found “several [Z]iplock bags of suspected heroin, two full barrels of cutting agent, and several blue bags of what police believe to be fentanyl — a powerful prescription painkiller often used to cut and enhance heroin,” all hidden in a room “behind a secret door disguised as a shelf.” The contraband is valued at more than $100,000.
Two men were taken into custody, and Dep. Inspector and 83rd Precinct commander Max Tolentino says they were likely distributing illegal drugs in Brooklyn and Queens.
William Morales, a resident who lives nearby, told ABC 7, “I didn't know they were selling drugs there, you know paraphernalia bag for weed, that I knew, but as for drugs, no.” He said that though the food in the store wasn’t very appetizing, he saw “a lot of expensive cars stopping off to allegedly buy ‘candy’ late at night.”
The investigation is ongoing.
Check out our story on a pizza restaurant that sold more than just pizza, police found.