Talk about a different business from what was started on the store-front sign: a New York City furniture store has been busted -- accused of being a wholesale marijuana operation, New York Police Department officials announced Thursday.
The marijuana operation's alleged director is Frank McTaggart, 44, who was ordered held without bail Thursday, after Prosecutor Jordan Arnold said McTaggart's crew "took over" the W. 132nd Street block surrounding The Rally Furniture Store in New York City's Harlem neighborhood, nypost.com reported. In all, 11 people have been indicted on conspiracy and marijuana sale charges.
The furniture store was merely a front, prosecutors said, with little-reviewed furniture gathering dust in the store. Prosecutors noted that the only time furniture was moved in and out of the store was when McTaggart's crew brought items out to the sidewalk for drug-filled, all-night block parties.
How was the drug ring caught? Prosecutors said an undercover detective put down a deposit on a used lamp in April that one of McTaggart's crew members promised to renovate with a new shade, but the detective never heard back from the store, wsj.com reported Friday.
Neighbors also helped police: they found marijuana in their mailboxes, in discarded paper bags, and in containers tossed to the street, nydailynews.com reported.