You may have been shocked to hear, yesterday, that the NYPD raided an unassuming Bushwick bodega and uncovered what appeared to be a massive heroin operation.
But one Brooklyn resident told us he was “totally not surprised.” More than a year ago, Bruno Navarro posted the above photo of the Gates Candy & Grocery to Yelp with the caption “Get your fresh…candy?!”
Seems his snarky skepticism was spot on. According to the Daily News, officers from the State Finance Department found a door hidden behind a shelf while looking for untaxed cigarettes during an inspection Wednesday night. The next day, when police swarmed the store—located on Gates Avenue at St. Nicholas Avenue—they found “a truckload and a half of drugs and packing material.”
I asked Navarro, whose photo is the only thing on the bodega’s Yelp page, what made him suspect it might be selling something a little less innocent than candy. He explained that “its weird hours and rundown look made it suspicious, but I think anything that’s called a candy shop is a shady business.”
https://t.co/BCVCywGreR lmfao I lived by this “candy store” and always had a feeling it was sus. Damn.
— Petty Wap (@kait_yo) June 24, 2016
Navarro added that “growing up in Queens, I saw many of them were numbers-running joints, too,” which made me wonder exactly how many candy stores might be fronts for drug dealers, or gambling rackets, or any number of “shady” activities.
While that number is really anyone’s guess, I figured there has to be some way to make that guess educated. So, in order to help narrow things down, I’ve put together a list of sure signs that your local bodega may be a drug front:
—The store runs entirely on the metric system
—Contortionists always seem to be taking naps outside
—Inventory is consistently referred to as “the stuff”
—Baking soda is, like, crazy expensive there for some reason
—The bodega’s cat is always borrowing money form people
—The store’s name involves “candy,” or a winking emoji
—You buy drugs there