Federal Agents Seize Drugs Worth More Than $1 Million Outside Downtown Hotel
The Marriott Hotel at 151 Maiden Lane, where one of the suspects was staying as a guest, and in front of which he was apprehended carrying more than 40 pounds of crystal methamphetamine.
Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) conducting an undercover surveillance outside at Lower Manhattan hotel nabbed a team of alleged traffickers who are accused of driving across country with a total of 165 pounds of crystal methamphetamine.
The drama began on the morning of July 5, when a team of DEA agents were staked out in front of the Marriott AC New York Hotel by Marriott, at 151 Maiden Lane, near South Street. They were waiting for 19-year-old Luis Estrada, of San Diego, whom they had recently tracked driving across country with an associate in a rented vehicle. When Mr. Estrada exited the hotel and began wheeling a black suitcase along Maiden Lane, they approached the young man, and took him into custody based on an arrest warrant. A search of the suitcase revealed that it contained more than 40 pounds of crystal methamphetamine.
Three days later, the same DEA team caught up with Mr. Estrada’s traveling companion, Carlos Santos, of San Jose, California. Mr. Santos was spotted by the federal agents in a parking lot on West 219 Street, where he was observed removing industrial canisters of compressed air from a white van, and using power tools to cut them open. The DEA agents took Mr. Santos into custody, and then searched the air canisters, which were found to contain an additional 100 pounds of crystal methamphetamine.
One of the industrial compressed air canisters that DEA agents allege was used to conceal an additional 100 pounds of the illegal drug.
The DEA estimates that the street value of the combined cache of drugs is slightly more than $1.2 million.
Mr. Estrada has charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second and third degrees. Mr. Santos is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second, third and seventh degrees.
Under current New York State law, neither defendant could be held on bail, because although methamphetamine is legally categorized as a controlled substance, it is not technically designated as a “narcotic.” This means that even if Mr. Estrada and Mr. Santos had been apprehended in possession of a much larger amount of crystal methamphetamine, the judges presiding at their arraignments were powerless to hold them without bail, or impose bail in any amount as a condition of their release. Instead, both were freed on supervised release, a program that consists of in-person meetings and regular phone call check-ins with social workers.
Frank Tarentino, the special agent in charge of the DEA’s New York Division, said, “methamphetamine is running rampant throughout the country causing addiction, overdoses, and poisonings. DEA has seen methamphetamine seizures in New York increase 1300 percent since 2021, indicating New York is a bullseye for traffickers.”
Remembering a Pillar of the Community
Longtime Resident and Stalwart Protector of His Neighbors Memorialized
Gus Ouranitsas, who lived in Battery Park City from 1986 until his death from a September 11-related cancer last year, was memorialized by friends and neighbors at a tree-planting ceremony and plaque unveiling on July 7.
Much Derided Security Tent for Statue of Liberty Ferry Slated to Move, and Then Move Back
The City’s Parks Department, the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency Project, and the National Park Service are planning to relocate the security screening tent that serves visitors to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, to accommodate construction of flood-control infrastructure.
[Re: “Unconventional Wharf-fare,” BroadsheetDAILY, July 21, 2022]
This is the most godawful plan I could imagine. The local community will lose the entirety of its access to the water and the park with this logistical plan to accommodate tourists.
Please, please, please reconsider using the Coast Guard parking lot and pier for
temporary access and security screening for Statue of Liberty tours. Decision makers need to rethink how the local community can have substantive access to parks and waterfront during these simultaneous resiliency projects in Lower Manhattan.
We are going to destroy the neighborhood for a few years to implement this work and it’s going to take one to two decades to recover to the beauty we enjoy today.
For Thrifty Epicures
Restaurant Week Includes 45 Downtown Eateries
New York’s annual food celebration, Restaurant Week, started yesterday and wraps up on Sunday, August 21. For those disinclined to venture above Canal Street, the good news is that of all the 659 establishments participating throughout the City this summer, almost four dozen are located in Lower Manhattan. Most restaurants are offering a selection of $30, $45, and $60 two-course lunches and $30, $45, and $60 three-course dinners. In many of these locations, the everyday prices are significantly higher than Restaurant Week offerings, which makes this value proposition a compelling opportunity to try places that might ordinarily be outside your budget. Because seats go fast, please call ahead to confirm availability and make a reservation.
For a list of participating Lower Manhattan restaurants, their addresses and phone number, click here.
Join in on the fun featuring easy-to-follow Latin dance choreography while working on your balance, coordination and range of motion. Come prepared for enthusiastic instruction, a little strength training and a lot of fun. Participants are encouraged to bring their own equipment: weights, water bottle, hand towel etc.
A lunch time program for passersby to play a quick game of chess or backgammon. Using clocks, opponents will play 5 minute games that are fast, furious and fun. An instructor will be on hand to offer pointers and tips to improve your game.
Play the popular strategy game while getting pointers and advice from an expert. Chess improves concentration, problem solving, and strategic planning — plus it’s fun! For ages 5 and up (adults welcome).
Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets
Greenwich Street & Chambers Street
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8am-3pm (compost program: Saturdays, 8am-1pm)
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Broadway & Whitehall St
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8am-5pm (compost program: 8am-11am)
World Trade Center Oculus Greenmarket
The Outdoor Fulton Stall Market
91 South Street, between Fulton & John Streets
Indoor market: Monday through Saturday,11:30am-5pm
CSA pick-up: Thursday, 4pm-6pm; Friday, 11:30-5pm
Outdoor market: Saturdays, 11:30am-5pm
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades, Respectable Employment, Lost and Found