Added by David Sandercock on March 19, 2011
31 people have been arrested for being part of an ice cream van drug ring in New York’s Staten Island, prosecutors say.
The drug ring, allegedly controlled by Louis Scala, 29, and Joseph Zaffuto, 39, is said to have distributed some 43,000 oxycodone pills, a prescription painkiller, said the Wall Street Journal.
Orthopedic surgeon, 40-year old Nancy Wilkins, reportedly stole blank prescription pads from a local surgeon and then recruited a group of people to have them filled in at different pharmacies.
Scala would then sell the pills at a price of US$20 each from the Lickety Split ice cream van which he had parked outside his house.
A retired police officer living in the neighbourhood said the ice cream van would arrive playing music at all hours of the day: “It did get a little frustrating when it would be out there at nine o’clock at night. I’d think, why the hell is he selling ice cream at night?” he said.
The business is said to have turned around about US$1 million in the year between July 2009 and June 2010.
While Scala has been released on bail, Zaffuto and WIlkins remain in custody facing charges of conspiracy and criminal possession of a controlled substance, for which they could face up to eight years in prison if convicted.