NY "Environmental Protection" Raid Drives Suicide

Yesterday Dell's Maraschino Cherries in Brooklyn was raided by the New York Department of Environmental Protection and the Brooklyn District Attorney's office under the pretext of searching for violations of environmental protection regulations. The pretext was used because law enforcement had "received a tip" that the thriving cherry business was being used as a front for an operation engaging in marijuana commerce. The "tip" however was insufficiently credible to justify a search warrant from a judge.

The search that followed the pretext raid went on for several hours until the investigators located a secret enterance to the facility's basement. When the entrance was discovered, the cherry business's proprietor Arthur Mondella retired to the bathroom to commit euthanasia to avoid the pain of watching the wealth accumulated over generations of his family be confiscated through civil forfeiture.

In the basement investigators found a whopping three bags of marijuana along with substantial assets in the form of cash and motor vehicles. The plural number of marijuana bags means that Mondella would have by the courts been assumed to have intent to distribute the marijuana even if it was all actually intended for personal consumption and simply stored in the factory's secret basement with his cash and vehicles out of concern for its safety.

This appalling tragedy happened because the Environmental Protection agents were empowered and willing to carry out a drug raid that would have been a legal impossibility for the actual police. Anyone in the United States with items of value to protect who doesn't already have pretext raids on their threat model needs to seriously begin weighing the risks they pose to your life and property and considering mitigation measures.

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