BRIDGET G. BRENNAN, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, and RAYMOND W. KELLY, New York City Police Commissioner, announced today the arrests of two drug traffickers, including an individual who used his job as a pizza delivery man for a Papa John’s restaurant in Brooklyn as a cover.
RAMON RODRIGUEZ made at least 19 sales of cocaine during the undercover investigation by the NYPD’s Narcotics Borough Brooklyn South, which began in the fall of 2011. He was arrested yesterday evening during his largest sale to the undercover – a kilo of cocaine for $27,500. He is expected to be arraigned later today in Manhattan Criminal Court.
As in many of his sales, RODRIGUEZ, dressed in his Papa John’s uniform, met the undercover officer in front of the Papa John’s restaurant where he worked at 5804 5th Avenue in Sunset Park. The undercover observed RODRIGUEZ go inside the restaurant and return with a bag, a pizza box and a chicken nuggets box. He was arrested as he placed the bag, which contained a kilo of cocaine, inside the trunk of the undercover officer’s car.
In addition to sales outside the restaurant, some sales in the investigation occurred near RODRIGUEZ’s home at 6315 9th Avenue, located several blocks away. A search of his home last night yielded approximately $4,500 in cash and drug paraphernalia, including a scale and packaging material. A small amount of cocaine was also seized from RODRIGUEZ’s car.
In setting up his sales to the undercover officers, RODRIGUEZ gave instructions on where to meet by phone. He frequently wore his Papa John’s uniform to these meetings. On multiple occasions, RODRIGUEZ told the undercover officers that he was interrupting pizza deliveries to conduct the drug transaction.
When meeting outside his workplace, RODRIGUEZ often entered the restaurant prior to the sale and reemerged either with a pizza box, a pizza menu, or an insulated pizza delivery bag, which he would use to conceal cocaine he was carrying. RODRIGUEZ would then hand the pizza box to the officer or place it in his vehicle. On one occasion in July 2012, RODRIGUEZ gave an undercover a box containing pizza slices and passed a package containing 20 grams of cocaine under the box.
Prior to last night, sales totaled approximately $18,000 and ranged from 20 grams of cocaine for $600 to 70 grams for $2,100, with the price set at approximately $30 per gram.
In November 2011, a second defendant, JONATHAN MARTINEZ, met with an undercover officer and sold 40 grams of cocaine for $1,200 after RODRIGUEZ set up the sale by phone. MARTINEZ was also arrested yesterday.
RODRIGUEZ is charged with four counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 1st degree, 15 counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 2nd degree and one count of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 1st degree.
An indictment charges MARTINEZ with one count of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 2nd degree. His arraignment is scheduled for today before Judge Bruce Allen, Part 45, in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The charges and allegations are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.Download Press Release (pdf)
Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office
Paul J. Browne
New York Police Department