Hazmat-wearing DEA agents, police raid luxury Long Island City high-rise
"It was like a 'Breaking Bad' scene," one area resident told Metro of what is believed to have been a raid on a synthetic drug lab at 4545 Center Blvd.
Federal and state law enforcement agents wearing hazmat suits executed a drug raid at a luxury Long Island City high-rise Tuesday morning, resulting in the arrest of two people.
Brian Parker, 34, of Long Island City and Victoria Koleski, 29, of Farmingdale, New Jersey, face 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for their connection to an alleged synthetic drug lab in a fourth-floor apartment at 4545 Center Blvd, CBS2 reported.
Parker and Koleski were charged with conspiring to distribute controlled substance analogues and distributing and possession with intent to distribute them. Parker has two prior convictions for selling prescription drugs illegally and is also accused of selling synthetic opioids and substances, the station reported.
The search, which began after an overdose death in Wisconsin in May 2016, was conducted by agents from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s Newark division and State Police.
Authorities wearing hazmat suits were seen entering and exiting the 41-story waterfront building that houses 820 units. Rents, according to the website of management company TF Cornerstone (TFC), range from $2,630 for a studio to $5,695 for a two-bedroom.
An email to residents from TFC that was obtained by Metro said that “the apartment and surrounding areas are being examined by law enforcement officials in a thorough investigation."
When reached for further comment, a TFC spokesperson told Metro via email that officials said "these activities were confined to one apartment, and do not pose a threat to residents or the general public in the vicinity of the building. This isolated incident does not change our over-riding concern for the safety of our residents. We do not tolerate illegal activities and will continue to work closely with local and federal law enforcement agencies to prevent and resolve potential problems in a timely and efficient manner.”
The DEA Newark division and State Police did not respond to requests for comment
Jeremy Rosenberg, who lives in the building across from 4545 Center Blvd., told Metro that he noticed officials dressed in silver foil suits setting up tables and blocking off the area with police tape around 7 a.m
Soon after, “people with DEA police shirts began running in and taking out boxes that said ‘DEA Evidence,” Rosenberg added. “It was jarring watching agents running in and out of the building, like a ‘Breaking Bad’ scene.
But Rosenberg wasn’t surprised that such a raid occurred at the posh address
“I think it’s symbolic that drug use happens anywhere — no community is immune to drug use,” he said.