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Posted : Mar 11, 2004 18:46
that is strange indeed cyzum...
here is some text from this march 8th, 2004.
Club owner collared in big drug raid
Cops: Sound Factory promoted the sale and use of narcotics
BY CHRISTINE ARMARIO and DARYL KHAN
March 8, 2004
Police and federal agents charged the owner of a popular midtown nightclub yesterday with promoting the sale and use of "club drugs" such as ecstasy.
Authorities raided Sound Factory on West 46th Street early yesterday morning, arresting the club's owner, Richard Grant, and two members of his security staff, Ronald Coffiel and Randell Rogiers.
According to the indictment, they face charges of conspiring to admit the sale of club drugs. On two occasions, patrons died from overdoses, police said.
The so-called stash-house charge is typically used in smaller busts, said David Kelley, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
The suspects are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in Federal Court.
Police claim Grant became a millionaire as a result of the club's relaxed drug policy. They estimate the club grossed $120,000 at the weekly Saturday night party.
"They chose dollars over decency while people were passing out at their feet and dying at the club," Kelley said.
In February 2003, Sound Factory was shut down. It was reopened within a month after Grant agreed to take tougher measures against drug use.
According to Grant's attorney, Kenneth Aronson, the club began use of a drug-sniffing dog and posted "No Drugs" signs around the club.
Yet police said rampant drug use began as soon as Sound Factory reopened its doors. Undercover officers purchased or seized narcotics inside the club on 10 occasions in the past year.
In September, Michael Spano, 21, died after overdosing from drugs purchased at the club. Two other patrons died under similar circumstances since 2000, including Vincent Diamonte, 28.
"It's because this [ecstasy] is the drug of choice in these clubs right now," Aronson said.
Police said the club was popular for its weekend parties, which began at 11 p.m. on Saturday nights and continued until 4 p.m. the following day.
Grant regularly attended the parties, where he would sit in a DJ booth that overlooked the main dance floor, according to police.
Police said that approximately 70 percent of the clubgoers were high during a typical party. The DJ himself was reported to have a bag of crystal methamphetamine for his own use in open view.
When patrons collapsed from intoxication, police said, they were taken to a different part of the club referred to as the "ICU unit." Sound Factory personnel would then "treat" overdosing customers by slapping and throwing cold water on them to make sure they stayed awake.
Yesterday afternoon, the club was empty, its doors covered with black metal gates, as families walked by after visiting the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum a block away.
The U.S. district attorney's office is looking to shut down the club; whether or not it will be open during the criminal proceedings is unclear.
Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.
"On the other hand, you have different fingers."