Wednesday, November 21, 2018

La Marina Drug Bust

A La Marina employee was arrested for selling drugs out of La Marina, the controversial Parks Department concession after a 5 month investigation by police. The politically connected establishment, whose owners include Mayor de Blasio associate Fernando Mateo, has racked up numerous violations as well as the ire of local residents.   (File photo:  Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) 


By Geoffrey Croft

Add drug dealing to the long list of offenses at the Parks Department’s most infamous Parks’ property. 

A La Marina employee was busted selling drugs out of La Marina, the controversial Parks Department concession, NYC Park Advocates has learned. 

A series of controlled buys were conducted at the restaurant during a long-term investigation where large sums of cocaine, oxycodone and marijuana were purchased according to police.  

Police arrested Christian J. Mendez, 33,  of Ft. Washington Avenue in front of La Marina on Dykeman Street in upper Manhattan yesterday afternoon within the confines of the 34 Pct. 

The employee, a bar manager,  was arrested as part of an on-going undercover narcotics operation being conducted since July.

Mendez is facing 10 counts, including seven counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance.

When the suspect was arrested he was in possession of 32 ecstasy pills.   Mendez has a prior arrest for marijuana possession.

The politically connected establishment as racked up a slew of violations and the ire of local residents. 

In July La Marina was shut down after a Department of Health, The State Liquor Authority, Department of Buildings and the NYPD inspection resulted in more than 90 violations.

In July  2017 the Police Department were forced to close the concession due to severe overcrowding.  

"Frankly, I’m speechless," La Marina partner Jerald Tenenbaum said in an email.  

"Christian was with us for years, and until yesterday I would have said he was a great employee. It’s very sad."

The site has a notorious past of the Parks Department allowing rampant illegal activity.  

In December 2006, nine people were arrested for drug trafficking at the Dyckman Street Boat and Marina at the previous concession. Those indicted on narcotics charges included Jerome O’Rourke a retired police officer whose family managed the marina for many years. 

Requests for comment from the Parks Department were not returned. 

Read More:

La Marina Manager Sold Drugs Out Of Inwood Bar, Police Say
Patch - November 23, 2018 - By Brendan Krisel