Six arrested in Bay Terrace for drugs

The early morning calm of Bayside’s Bay Terrace was shattered by sirens, flashing lights and the noise of a helicopter as a residential block on Corporal Kennedy Street was locked down by the New York City Police Department (NYPD).
At 6:30 a.m. on Friday, June 15, according to Lieutenant Dan Heffernan of the 111th Precinct, intelligence generated by the NYPD led them to notify probation officers, who visited the third floor apartment of Matthew Klein, 22, in an attached house at 23-27 Corporal Kennedy Street.
Klein, who was on probation after pleading guilty to assault in 2005, refused to open the door for the officers and such a refusal is a violation of the terms of probation. Klein reportedly demanded to see a warrant and wanted “to talk to my lawyer.”
The officers at the door had reason to believe that the suspect might have illegal drugs and firearms inside, and hearing other voices from behind the locked door, “they decided to play it safe and treat it as a potential hostage situation,” Heffernan said.
Within minutes, multiple police units arrived and began clearing the area.
“I live two doors away” said a neighbor who asked not to be identified. “I came out to drive to work about 7:40 a.m. and the police had the street shut off, so I went back inside. Then, about 8 a.m. they rang our bell and told us to get out.”
By that time, the normally quiet section of Bayside began to resemble a “Die-Hard” sequel movie set, as Tactical Armed Response and Emergency Service Units, a Hostage Negotiation Team, a K-9 Unit, an armored car and an Emergency Medical Service truck joined the dozens of marked and unmarked police vehicles as a police helicopter hovered directly overhead.
The closure of Corporal Kennedy Street snarled traffic on 26th Avenue and nearby streets, diverted the Q-28 and Q-32 bus lines. One local high school student ran after a diverted bus in a near panic for fear of missing that morning’s State Regents exam.
As tactical officers donned helmets and body armor, and medical responders prepared their lifesaving gear, knots of local residents gathered behind the yellow crime scene tape and began trying to piece together the story.
Anthony Notarelli, a tow-truck driver who lives nearby, told The Queens Courier, “I heard them [cops] talking about surveillance and drugs and guns on the scanner - it’s a drug house over there - people have been complaining.”
Shortly after 10 a.m., tensions subsided when, according to another police source, Klein’s attorney spoke to his client and the police, which resulted in the door being opened.
Six people, including Klein were arrested and taken from the house, which lies just within the 109th Precinct, to the stationhouse in Flushing.
According to Heffernan, Klein and the others were “acting in concert,” and were first charged with marijuana possession and obstructing governmental administration, though he said, “that would probably change.” Heffernan said that no firearms were observed but a quantity of marijuana and drug paraphernalia “were in plain view” and that a search warrant had been obtained.
By Monday June 18, Klein stood charged with possession of more than a pound of marijuana after more bags of the drug were found in an open bedroom closet, and faced multiple weapons charges involving two gravity knives, a machete and a “chukka stick.” His bail was set at $15,000.
Also arrested and charged with marijuana possession were John P. Labarca, 24, of 67-20 186th Lane in Fresh Meadows; Jose R. Lazo, 23, of 147-27 Barclay Avenue in Flushing; Branden F. Malave, 23, of 32-27 Utopia Parkway in Whitestone and Andrew F. Ahn, 22, of 204-06 43rd Avenue in Bayside. Bail was set at $1,000 for Labarca and Lazo, $2,500 for Malave and $10,000 for Ahn.
Avni Zenelaj, 27, of 23-35 Bell Boulevard in Bayside was charged with marijuana possession and also charged with possession of a controlled substance, after a bag containing a substance believed to be cocaine was found in his pocket, according to the criminal complaint. His bail was set at $2,500.
All six are due back in court on July 2.

More from Around New York