BAY RIDGE, Brooklyn (PIX11) – You could get a vanilla ice cream cone with sprinkles or a bag of oxycodone and cocaine — all from the same Bay Ridge truck — said the D.A. Tuesday while announcing the ice cream man’s arrest.
Mina Gatas, 20, who worked part-time at the truck and in a nearby deli, allegedly sold large amounts of drugs in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, at the Owls Head Pier at Shore Road and 69th St.
“What is so disturbing about Mr. Gatas’ criminal activity is the manner in which he chose to flood our streets with drugs,” said Kings County D.A. Charles J. Hynes. “Mr. Gatas chose to use these busy, family-oriented public venues to facilitate and negotiate his drug deals, and he brazenly sold large quantities of drugs right from the ice cream truck while children bought their ice cream just a few inches away.”
Undercover officers working in a two-month-long sting dubbed ‘Operation Snow Cone’ arranged several deals with Gatas after striking up a conversation with him at the In and Out Halal Deli on Fifth Avenue where he also works.
After setting up an exchange, an officer met Gatas at the ice cream truck and was invited inside, according to a DA release. He removed his hat, which contained $830, and asked for a vanilla ice cream cone. Gatas took the money and returned with a bag of cocaine and Oxycodone pills — as well as an ice cream cone — and asked the undercover if he wanted sprinkles.
The entire exchange was recorded on video and Gatas was arrested on Aug. 5. He faces up to 20 years in prison on charges of criminal possession and sale of controlled substances.