Meth Lab Discovered in Posh New York Penthouse

Nov 30, 2006 12:00pm

Authorities say a posh penthouse apartment overlooking the United Nations in midtown Manhattan was the site of an illegal lab producing methamphetamine for a drug ring involving a bank executive and a university grad student. The Citibank executive and Columbia University teaching assistant along with auto mechanics employed by one of the city’s largest car dealerships were among those arrested yesterday after being charged with producing methamphetamine in nine laboratories scattered throughout New York City and Long Island. Manufactured in style at a penthouse apartment overlooking the United Nations, in work bays at the Potamkin Mitsubishi car dealership and in bedrooms on Long Island, federal agents seized manufactured methamphetamine along with hundreds of grams of restricted chemicals, including red phosphorus and iodine, that are key ingredients in the the manufacture of the highly addictive drug. The shutdown of the nine operational laboratories as well as yesterday’s arrest of seven individuals in the investigation dubbed "Operation Red Fusion" is a first for New York City, federal sources tell ABC News.  The last and only federal seizure of a meth lab in New York was back in 2002. THE BLOTTER RECOMMENDS Photos Crackdown Nets Stylish Meth Labs 11-Year-Old Heroin Addicts: A Shocking Texas Phenomenon Click Here to Check Out Who’s Blowing Hot, Cool and Smoke on the Brian Ross Homepage After the nine labs were raided, agents assigned to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Clandestine Laboratory Team oversaw the cleanup of the labs, which produce highly toxic wastes as a byproduct. "Methamphetamine poses a double threat because it places not only the drug abuser at risk, but the public at large each time the drug is produced, especially in a densely-populated area such as New York City and its suburbs," said Roslynn Mauskopf, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, where seven of the defendants had their initial court appearances yesterday. "Methamphetamine is the ‘crack’ of the 21st century," added Suffolk Police Commissioner Richard Dormer, who headed Operation Red Fusion in Long Island.  "It can have lethal effects at any time from production to ingestion.  Toxic waste is created producing it and ruined lives are the result of abusing it." If convicted of the federal offenses with which they are charged, the defendants, who acted independently, each face a maximum of 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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