This Queens Village garage was doing much more than fixing flats.
Law enforcement agents uncovered a synthetic marijuana (K2) factory inside the Excellent Tire Shop Services on Springfield Boulevard on Tuesday night, recovering more than 200 pounds of the dangerous narcotic in the process.
One individual was taken into custody at the scene, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Osvaldo Maria Vasquez, 36, of Queens had an outstanding arrest warrant for allegedly participating in a cocaine sale and distribution ring between 2014 and 2015.
Prosecutors said the raid was a product of a joint investigation by the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force and the FBI. The recovered synthetic marijuana– which U.S. Attorney Robert L. Capers noted are known to have “unpredictably severe and even lethal side effects”– have an estimated street value of at least $200,000.
Most of the K2 recovered from the garage had already been packaged for immediate sale. The actual processing facility was concealed in the garage by a tarp; law enforcement agents seized various drug-making and packaging paraphernalia as well as flavoring agents and a large amount of unprocessed synthetic marijuana.
“Rearing its ugly head, synthetic cannabinoids were being manufactured and packaged with intentions to be unleashed in our city,” DEA Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt said in a statement. “Due to good police work, a clandestine K2 lab was dismantled in Queens, demolishing the health and the societal dangers caused by K2 use along with it.”
“This makeshift synthetic cannabinoid lab … was used to produce this poison in the vicinity of several homes and businesses,” added Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. “I commend the work of the Drug Enforcement Task Force and our FBI partners for seizing this drug before it reached the streets of New York.”