Cops slapped the padlock on an east Bronx deli after it was busted for selling untaxed cigarettes.
Acting under the city’s Nuisance Abatement Law, NYPD Vice cops raided Jimmy’s Deli at 4011 E. Tremont Avenue in Throggs Neck on Friday, Nov. 1.
Authorities said undercover cops made a number of purchases of the cheap, untaxed smokes in gathering evidence.
The owner of the property, Ahmed Kassim, is responsible under the law. He was due back in court on Wednesday, Nov. 6.
The current store owner protested his innocence, however, telling the Bronx Times Reporter that he only recently took over operation from the previous operator.
Deli owner Ibrahim “Brian” Aludias said he had been running the store since “one or two months ago.” Department of Buildings documents list him as the deli owner as of Oct. 17.
Aludias denied selling untaxed cigarettes, blaming the previous owners of the Sea Breeze Deli, busted for selling alcohol to a minor in 2012.
“Vice has been working at that location. On several occasions they made arrests for selling untaxed cigarettes,” said Captain James McGeown of the 45th Precinct. “They submitted it for nuisance abatement. That came through and they padlocked the place on Friday.”
McGeown called the situation ongoing.
The building has nine open Environmental Control Board violations for alleged offenses including using the building for a use contrary to what is stated in the Certificate of Occupancy, failure to maintain the building, and failure to provides two “means of egress,” which could be very important in evacuating the building in case of an emergency, like a a fire.
Selling untaxed cigarettes cannot be good for area merchants in the area who are trying to do the right thing by obeying the law, said Throggs Neck Merchants Association president Steve Kaufman.
“Basically, it is another instance of trying to get people doing illegal things out of the area,” said McGeown, who also added “selling untaxed cigarettes is an economic loss for other merchants in the area.”
Under the city’s Nuisance Abatement Law, the city can go after landlords who allow various illegal activities to continue on their properties, from drug activity to gambling to illegal sale of alcohol to minors. It can also apply to violation of building codes, fire codes and zoning rules.
After a certain number of guilty findings by a court, the property can be ordered permanently closed.