An 8-foot-long python and two pit bulls were seized along with guns and more than 20 pounds of marijuana when authorities busted a bustling pot house that operated across the street from a playground.
New York City's special narcotics prosecutor, Bridget Brennan, and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said the marijuana business had sold drugs seven days a week, from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., to customers who would line up in the first-floor hallway outside the apartment on East 124th Street.
The drug den, across the street from a playground at Marcus Garvey Park, had been the subject of complaints for at least three years, authorities said. Residents would have to pass the line of people waiting to buy drugs as they walked in.
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"We have the park right here where children play after school. We don't want them to be subjected to that kind of disrespect," said neighbor Iris Lee.
The raid and arrests this week came after an investigation of several months.
Police say the two suspects, a 34-year-old man and a 25-year-old man, sold drugs and guns to an undercover officer over the course of the investigation.
Both are charged with multiple counts.
The animals were transferred to ASPCA custody.