Police arrested nine people and shut down Frankie and Johnnys Cafe in Woodhaven late last month after a multi-agency raid netted two pounds of marijuana and various other drug paraphernalia in the bars basement, law enforcement sources said.
The nine people were arrested and charged with criminal possession of marijuana, police said. Three other agencies leveled a total of four other charges against the bar, police said.
The State Liquor Authority charged the 89-02 Jamaica Ave. tavern with selling contaminated liquor and not having a wholesale receipt from a licensed liquor distributor; the city Buildings Department issued a violation for hazardous occupancy; and the city Department of Consumer Affairs ticketed the bar for operating an unlicensed arcade, police said.
The raid was part of a July 27 multi-agency city and state task force undertaking aimed at bars in the 102nd Precinct. Participating agencies included the New York Police Departments Legal, Community Policing and Community Affairs units, the SLA, the state Department of Environmental Protection, the Buildings Department, the Department of Health, the Fire Department and the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Violations also were discovered at three other bars in the precinct, but no other arrests were made. The Nest at 125-17 101st Ave. also was shuttered for the evening, police said.
The task force entered Frankie and Johnnys at 12:30 a.m. July 27 and, using a surveillance camera on the main floor, monitored the bars basement, police said. They observed eight men with two pounds of marijuana, assorted glassine envelopes and other paraphernalia, including two bulletproof vests, police said. Christina Martinez, 27, a bartender, of 86-22 Jamaica Ave. in Woodhaven was arrested, they said.
Eight men who were arrested were identified as John Brancaccio, 35, of 169 Alice Ave. in Oceanside, L.I.; Russell Garbarino, 28, of 105-24 78th St. in Ozone Park; Keith Croce, 33, of 155th Avenue in Howard Beach; Patrick Gannatti, 35, of 1114 Banana River Dr. in Florida; Anthony Yannotti, 27, of 60-46 Gates Ave. in Ridgewood; Paul Silano, 33, of 83-33 118th St. in Kew Gardens; Joseph Hoffman, 27, of 106-25 79th St. in Ozone Park; and Edward Armstrong, 35, of 106-14 96th St. in Ozone Park.
Croce, Gannatti and Armstrong were released on $2,500 bail and have court dates scheduled for Aug. 12, said a spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Bail was set at $15,000 for Brancaccio and $1,000 for Yannotti, but both remained locked up, she said. Garbarino, Silano and Hoffman were released on their own recognizance and charges against Martinez were dropped, she said.
Police closed the bar down for the evening, but it has since been allowed to reopen.
At The Nest, 19 violations, including eight from the DOH, seven from the Buildings Department, two from the Fire Department, one from the DCA and one from the SLA were uncovered, police said. The restaurant/bar, which is popular among the areas Indo-Caribbean population, also has reopened.
The violations included food not stored properly, a dirty kitchen, unlicensed sale of cigarettes, no second means of exit, illegal construction and illegal use of propane gas and tanks, police said.
Violations also were found at The Ranch, at 134-01 Liberty Ave. in Ozone Park; and Flight 116, at 116-02 101st Ave. in Richmond Hill.
Reach reporter Daniel Massey by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 156.
©2002 Community News Group
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