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  1. buckcamp
    Cops busted a mob-linked drug ring that they claim was being run out of a Staten Island ice cream truck. They say that along with selling cold treats to neighborhood children, the ring was serving Oxycodone to loyal, addicted customers.

    31 members of the extensive drug trafficking ring were busted. The takedown of the million dollar drug ring was called "Operation Bad Medicine."

    They are accused of selling nearly 43,000 pills between July 2009 and June 2010.

    Prosecutors say Louis Scala and Joseph Zaffuto were the ringleaders of the operation. Zaffuto was described as an addict and a Luchese crime family soldier.

    They say the pair obtained fraudulent prescriptions through Nancy Wilkins, who worked as an office manager for a Manhattan orthopedic surgeon.

    Zaffuto was a patient and met Wilkins during an office visit, according to prosecutors. They say Wilkins stole prescription pads from the office and sold the sheets to Scala and Zaffuto.

    Scala an Zaffuto are alleged to have recruited dozens of individuals to take the stolen prescriptions to pharmacies and get them filled. These recruits, nearly all Staten Island residents, were paid in either cash or oxycodone. Many of the drug runners were relatives, friends or neighbors.

    The pair often recruited individuals who were desperate for money or already had drug abuse problems. In some cases, multiple members of a single family or multiple households on the same block were involved in filling prescriptions.

    To avoid attention, the operation only used small, independently owned pharmacies.

    Prosecutors say as Scala made his regular rounds with his Lickety Split ice cream truck, he would stop on prearranged blocks where he knew his oxycodone customers would be waiting. One of the main spots was Zaffuto's block. They say it was an "open secret" that the truck would be there. After serving ice cream to children, adult pill customers would climb inside his truck and make their buy.

    To attract buyers, highly addictive drugs were often initially given out for free. Once the customers were hooked, they were charged ever escalating prices.

    The operation began to be uncovered in June when one of the runners Scala and Zaffuto used to fill prescriptions was investigated for a string of armed robberies at pharmacies.

    Among the people charged are Scala's brother, his fiancée, and two uncles.

    The ring might be a case of real-life immitating art.
    In the 1981 movie, "Nice Dreams" Cheech and Chong run an ice cream truck named "Happy Herb's Nice Dreams." The ice cream is made out of experimental marijuana. And one of the missions in the video game "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" was for the player to drive an ice cream truck and sell drugs to 50 people.

    Updated: Thursday, 17 Mar 2011, 4:29 PM EDT
    Published : Thursday, 17 Mar 2011, 2:42 PM EDT


  1. mickey_bee
    Still one of the things swim has to do before he dies, - buy drugs from an ice cream van........It's almost become an underground legend amongst drug users the world over..........or the world over where there are ice cream vans.........
  2. bubbly nubs
    SWIM fulfilled that dream at a festival once...

    Is it just me or does this article make it seem like there was a massive drug operation, when really it was some guy selling from a van?
  3. Moving Pictures
    ^43,000 pills in a year is a pretty big deal, imo.

    I just wish I could me on of the drug dealers that supposedly give out "free samples" to get people hooked. That sounds awesome to me! I'd pretend I've never gotten high before. Hell, I remember seeing all those anti-drug commercials on tv when I was little where people would just offer kids drugs for free. I was like "where can I find these people!?". I had to buy the weed the first time I smoked. I was just waiting for some shady character in a trench-coat in a parking lot somewhere to give me free drugs. Goddamn anti-drug propaganda!
  4. bubbly nubs
    43,000....I wonder where they got that figure? I mean seriously, how DO they get those figures?

    43,000 pills may seem a lot but really, its not.
  5. organic_chemist
    This sort of thing is very common in the UK, most noticeable when you've got an Ice Cream van coming round in the depths of winter :laugh:
  6. Moving Pictures
    43,000 pills in a year totals to ~118 pills a day. For one guy in an ice cream truck, that's a pretty decent amount. Even if he was just selling 5 mg percocets for their usual US street price, he could have eaisly made more than a hundred grand in that year. But I assume he was selling higher milligram oxycodone or OxyContin which can go for more than ten times the price of a 5 mg percocet. (I hope I skirted the price discussion rule well enough)

    But I think the biggest part is that he sold them out of an ice cream truck.

    I assume they got that figure by going back over all the fake prescriptions that were filled.
  7. Sam Spade
    That's exactly what I was thinking. I'd think I was in a dream if some guy in an ice cream van offered me free Oxycontin.

    If full grown people were climbing into the back of an ice cream van on a regular basis it wouldn't take long for somebody to get highly suspicious. I'm surprised such a racket lasted as long as it did.
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