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Hot Kielbasa or Cold Cocaine?

Sikorski Meat Market Cover is Blown

A popular neighborhood butcher shop may be on the chopping block after 26 people were arrested in connection to a narcotics ring operating from their shop, last Friday afternoon.

A year-long FBI investigation revealed that the Sikorski Meat Market on Manhattan Avenue has served as a base for cocaine distribution, and that one of the defendants, Andrzej Filipkowski, a former Sikorski employee, used the code words “hot kielbasa” to refer to the cocaine, which was more than 80% pure. Several kilograms were discovered in the basement of the market.

“The ‘kielbasa’ was really cocaine,” said NYPD Commissioner Robert Kelly. “And thanks to outstanding police work it’s no longer available at the meat market.”

Now that’s a spicy sausage.

According to the FBI, surveillance and wiretaps were used to track the cocaine distribution.

“The case began with a single report that cocaine was being stored at a neighborhood meat market in Greenpoint,” said United States Attorney Benton J. Campbell, who announced the charges. “Through diligent investigation, we and our law enforcement partners were able to identify and subsequently dismantle a wide-ranging cocaine distribution ring operating throughout our city. The defendants will now be held to answer for their criminal activity.”

It has been confirmed that the drug runners were employing drivers—Rolando Vasquez, among others—licensed by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, to make their cocaine deliveries throughout New York City and the tri-state area, between September 2007 and October 2008.

Though the FBI has been suspicious of the operation for over a year, neighborhood residents are surprised and disturbed by the scandal.

“I honestly had no idea anything like this was happening,” said George Ha, who runs BQ Sports Inc., a sporting goods store located right next to the meat market. “I have known these guys my whole life. This butcher shop has such a big community presence, and it has always been such a respectable business. I’m just completely shocked.”

Of the 26 defendants charged, Filipkowski, James Murphy and William Murphy are suspected of serving as the operation’s central organizers, though all involved will be prosecuted.

If convicted of conspiring to distribute cocaine, the defendants each faces a sentence of ten years to life imprisonment, a life term of supervised release, and a $4,000,000 fine.

Sikorski Meat Market is still open for business.

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