Sunday, February 12, 2006

Restaurants served cocaine on the side

United Press International

NEW YORK, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Two New York City restaurants served side dishes of cocaine that amounted to about $250,000 a week, prosecutors said.

Police have arrested 13 men on drug- and gun-trafficking charges, and 13 others were charged with participating in alleged illegal drug activities linked to El Duarte Restaurant and a fast-food restaurant a block away, the New York Daily News reported Saturday.

"This was a farmers' market in cocaine -- a significant operation," said Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.

Assistant District Attorney Jordan Arnold said undercover police officers would sit down at the tables in the two restaurants and place their order. Buyers would carry the cocaine out of the restaurant or pick it up in nearby apartments.

The drug dealer at the fast-food restaurant handed out cocaine in McDonald's takeout bags, prosecutors said.

Twenty of the 26 suspects have been taken into custody.


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