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Cops busted a Williamsburg super and two others on Wednesday for running a massive drug warehouse and hiding their stash in a sauna.
Narcotics investigators seized more than $800,000 and 18 kilos of cocaine from the second-floor apartment above the former site of the Laila Lounge on N. Seventh Street between Wythe and Berry streets, according to the office of the city’s special narcotics prosecutor.
Three suspects — Ronald Lugo, 44, Christina Ladeveze, 48, and Johanny Olmedo, 51 — were arraigned on drug possession charges on Thursday night. Authorities believe that the trio stored the dope in the their apartment for distribution all over the city.
The men were held, but Ladeveze was set to be released on $10,000 bail on Friday — and her lawyer says she was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“She had absolutely nothing to do with those charges,” said the attorney, Bettina Schein.
Authorities claim otherwise since the state police had the trio under surveillance for months before the raid on Wednesday.
Maybe it was their uncouth living style that tipped off investigators.
David Weinstein, 55, a musician who has lived on the block for a decade, said the suspects were not that social, but left a lot of trash out on the street every week.
The litter never included any contraband, just cardboard packaging for things like baby cribs, televisions and do–it-yourself furniture, according to the neighbor.
“I was like, man, these people generate a lot of garbage,” he said.
The suspects also gave Weinstein a weird vibe when they moved in sometime last year. He said that they didn’t fit the usual block demographic of young, affluent artists who used to dwell in the building.
“They looked like rock world hipsters, but older,” Weinstein recalled.
State police also thought something was out of the norm.
The big break came when investigators allegedly spotted Lugo exiting the apartment carrying two boxes to his car.
State troopers stopped him on the Bronx side of Triboro Bridge, and allegedly found 10 kilos of dope.
Once he was was arrested, investigators back to the apartment later in the day with a search warrant and found the money and the additional kilos of the pure, uncut coke in a sauna, authorities said.
The drug has a street value of approximately $3 million.
Lugo’s court-appointed attorney refused to comment, and the private attorney for Olmedo, who allegedly told investigators he was the building’s super, could not be reached.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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