Borough President Vito Fossella thanked the New York City Sheriff’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office and the NYPD for their diligent efforts in seizing products from illegal smoke shops, including raids carried out across Staten Island.
“A lot of folks have legitimately and rightfully complained about what’s going on right in their own backyard, literally, or by a school or by a train station or by a senior center or by a house of worship,” said Borough President Fossella said during a press conference in Borough Hall, standing behind a haul that included cannabis, untaxed cigarettes, flavored vapes, edibles, gummies – and products packaged like chips to attract children. “We understand, it’s a quality-of-life issue, but it’s also a legal issue. We are determined to work as a team to ensure that these illegal shops stop popping up in your neighborhood and where it exists, the sheriff and everybody behind me will be coming for you.”
New York City Sheriff Anthony Miranda held up a bag designed to look like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
“This is something that if a youth picked up, they’re not going to know the difference,” said NYC Sheriff Miranda. “That means if you’re keeping it at home, just keep it away from children. When children think they are taking candy, they don’t take just one, they take four or five. They tend to take the candy away to another room and they’re eating as much as possible and it can lead to your child overdosing."
A joint task force was established last year, which includes the Sheriff’s Office, the Police Department, the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, the Department of Buildings, the Health Department and the Fire Department.
Sherriff Miranda provided the following data resulting from the raids since the formation of the task force: