Two smoke shop busts yield three arrests, more than 55 pounds of illegal contraband

Bronx officials announce on Nov. 2, 2023 three arrests and more than 55 pounds of confiscated contraband at recent smoke shop raid.
Bronx officials announced on Nov. 2, 2023 three arrests and more than 55 pounds of confiscated contraband at recent smoke shop raid.
Photo courtesy Office of Assembly Member John Zaccaro

New York Assemblymember John Zaccaro Jr., announced his office carried out another pair of smoke shop raids last week — which this time resulted in three arrests and confiscation of more than 55 pounds of illegal cannabis. 

In partnership with the New York City Sheriff’s office, the assembly member hit two shops — the Morris Park Smoke Shop & Convenience Inc. at 1048 Morris Park Ave., and AM Convenience V Shop Corp. at 2011A Williamsbridge Road. Both were slapped with violations and the cops arrested three people after confiscating more than 43 pounds of THC edibles, 8 pounds of cannabis flower and 4 pounds of THC pre-rolls, among other illegal products. 

“I want to be crystal clear to all those that continue to willfully violate the law and sell illegal and unregulated cannabis and tobacco in your smoke shops throughout the Bronx – your time will come,” Zaccaro said. “We will continue our work unabated, and Monday’s successful seizure only reinforces our collective goal to respond to quality-of-life issues that deliver real results for our constituents.” 

Zaccaro represents the Bronx’s 80th Assembly District, which includes the neighborhoods of Pelham Gardens, Allerton, Indian Village, Little Yemen and parts of Norwood and Morris Park. 

The individual arrested at the Morris Park Smoke Shop & Convenience Inc. was charged with criminal possession of cannabis in the third degree, possession or sale of unstamped or unlawfully stamped cigarettes, and the sale of cannabis with a liquor license.

Two people were also arrested at AM Convenience V Shop Corp. according to Zaccaro’s office, though the announcement didn’t detail their criminal charges. That shop was also hit with four C-Summons and an estimated $181,200 in penalties.  

Seized illegal products included not just cannabis, but also vape and tobacco products. 

Officials seized multiple illegal products.
Officials seized multiple illegal products. Chart courtesy Camille Botello

“The Sheriff’s Office will continue to work collaboratively with all of our law enforcement partners to address this dangerous health and public safety issue in order to protect all New Yorkers,” said Sheriff Anthony Miranda.

It’s the second big bust carried out by Zaccaro’s office this fall — although his office didn’t report any arrests as a result of the three Allerton raids he carried out in September. 

Cannabis enforcement has had many Bronx policymakers scratching their heads for about a year now. Since recreational marijuana was legalized in New York state in 2021 but the first round of dispensary licenses weren’t issued until 2022, the illegal cannabis market has continued to survive — and even thrive, some argue. But while it’s still a challenge, Bronx officials are taking steps to combat the proliferation and sale of illegal products in the borough by more strictly enforcing cannabis law. 

Despite being disproportionately impacted by cannabis policing, which was supposed to be at the center of the state’s legalization efforts — the Bronx only has one legal recreational dispensary, called Statis, which opened in the Crotona neighborhood in July. There are more in the works — including a dispensary in Allerton, we well as proposed locations in Pelham Parkway, Pelham Bay and Mott Haven.   

The Bronx also has one legally licensed delivery dispensary, Sesh NYC, according to the state Office of Cannabis Management’s dispensary locator.

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