Authorities in New York City say a man who owned a maraschino cherry warehouse in Brooklyn committed suicide yesterday after a sizeable quantity of marijuana was discovered during a raid.
According to CBS New York, a series of investigators from the city Department of Environmental Protection, state Department of Environmental Conservation, and Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office descended upon Dell's Maraschino Cherries yesterday. Armed with search warrants, they planned to determine if the Red Hook factory had been using the sewer system to dispose of hazardous chemicals and materials used to process their cherries.
Arthur Mondella, the factory's owner, was cooperating with the investigation when one of the investigators inquired about the odor of marijuana after opening a door behind a false wall. That's when the 57-year-old retreated to the bathroom and reportedly told his sister to "Take care of [his] kids." Following the sound of a gunshot, Mondella's body was discovered.
The New York Post reports that, behind the fake wall, three large bags of marijuana were discovered. The Post adds that generators, security cameras, and motion-detecting lights were found. All of this, and the barbed wire surrounding the building, suggests that there was more going on at the factory than cherry production.
According to the Post, the probe into Dell's Maraschino Cherries began in 2013 when the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office received a tip that the business was a drug front.