By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The arrest of a suspect who allegedly sold narcotics out of an ice cream truck on the 69th Street Pier in Bay Ridge will protect children from drugs, according to Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, one of several local lawmakers praising Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes for making the bust.
“Taking the ice cream truck drug dealer off the streets will protect Brooklyn’s children from an absolutely despicable and dangerous threat, and I thank District Attorney Charles Hynes for his diligence in this matter,” Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) said.
On Aug. 6, Hynes announced the arrest of Mina Gatas, 20, on charges of selling drugs to an undercover officer on two occasions, with one buy taking place from the defendant’s ice cream truck.
Gatas, who was arrested on the night of Aug. 5, is charged with several counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
“What is so disturbing about Mr. Gatas’ criminal activity is the manner in which he chose to flood our streets with drugs,” Hynes said, referring to the fact that the suspect allegedly sold narcotics out of his ice cream truck at the 69th Street pier and out of the Fifth Avenue deli where he worked.
Gatas was arrested following an investigation dubbed “Operation Snow Cone” by the district attorney.
“Thanks to the Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes and his staff, Bay Ridge is a safer place today because we have taken drugs off our street,” state Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn) said.
“Could you imagine – first selling ice cream to families and children enjoying Shore Road in the summer time, and then your next sale being cocaine from the same truck? This individual under arrest was putting the lives of our families in danger and he was destroying the quality of life in our neighborhood,” Golden said.
Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) also praised Hynes for the drug bust. “I commend District Attorney Charles Hynes and his team for their hard work on ‘Operation Snow Cone.’ We had received numerous reports of a man selling more than just ice cream bars from his ice cream truck on the 69th Street Pier. We forwarded these reports to the proper authorities and the man was quickly caught by undercover cops for allegedly selling cocaine and Oxycodone from his truck,” Gentile said
“Today we are sending a very clear message that in our neighborhoods we will not tolerate drugs or drug dealing of any kind – especially when it is disguised as something safe and fun for our children,” the councilman said.