Pizza Deliveryman Accused of Selling Cocaine on the Clock

Pizza Deliveryman Accused of Selling Cocaine on the Clock

May 17th, 2013

In New York City, you just never know who your neighborhood drug dealer might be. It’s tough making an honest living in the city that never sleeps, but some people will do just about anything to get by. This week, a Papa John’s delivery man was arrested for selling more than $40,000 in cocaine hidden in pizza boxes to undercover police officers he met near his home and outside the Brooklyn restaurant where he works.

Ramon Rodriguez, 45, was charged Wednesday with multiple counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance and one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Prosecutors say Rodriguez allegedly sold cocaine to undercover officers 19 times since the fall of 2011, often dressed in his work clothes to blend in.


He was arrested Wednesday after he allegedly sold $27,500 worth of cocaine hidden in a bag with pizza and chicken nuggets to an undercover officer outside the Fifth Avenue store where he works in Sunset Park. Authorities found $4,500 in cash and drug paraphernalia, including a scale and packaging material, during a search of his home. Rodriguez allegedly complained often about how his illegal side business was interrupting his pizza deliveries.

“He was a nice guy … a good guy,” said his manager, Mohammed Ali, 24. “He was the best driver I got. He was clean, never high.”

But family members knew Rodriguez was delivering more than pizzas.

“He was taking care of his family,” his daughter Selina said. “We know he did wrong, but he’s a good man.”

Drug dealers often find crafty ways to remain hidden in plain view: in NYC this year alone, three sanitation workers, 25 bagel sandwich employees, and a drug ring fronted as an ice-cream truck were each busted for selling millions of dollars worth of Oxycodone — a widely-abused prescription painkiller — in separate operations.

In today’s economy, people often turn to dealing drugs as a quick way to make money and financially support their lives. Ironically, the decision to sell drugs often ends up destroying their lives through long periods of incarceration and increased risk of gang violence, and dealers end up hurting those they love the most.

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-Ray Lumpp, Editor

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