Illegal New Year’s bashes in SoHo and Queens where hundreds gathered get shut down

Hundreds packed into an illegal New Year’s party on Prince Street in SoHo that the NYC Sheriff’s office raided on Jan. 1, 2021.
Photo courtesy of NYC Sheriff’s Office

Two illegal New Year’s parties in SoHo and Queens that attracted hundreds of people wound up getting crashed by the New York City Sheriff’s office early on Friday morning.

Eight individuals were arrested at the illegal raves for various violations of health and safety codes, as well as emergency orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sheriff’s office tweeted on Jan. 1.

Both the SoHo and Maspeth parties violated various city and state COVID-19 emergency orders. The orders prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people inside locations, and forbid alcohol service at any location after 10 p.m. nightly, among other items. Each owner faces fines of up to $15,000. 

The remaining partygoers at both locations were sent home.

The first bust happened at 1 a.m., when deputies raided an illegal New Year’s rave on the sixth floor of the Lofts at Prince, at 177 Prince St. in SoHo.

More than 145 people had gathered at the location while dancing, drinking and smoking cigarettes without following mask and social distancing protocols. The sheriff’s office said the location lacked proper licenses to sell and store alcohol, and had various health code violations, the office reported.

Four individuals at the SoHo rave were arrested in connection with its operation: Ivan Busheski, 34, of Manhattan; Ergius Ngjelo, 44, of Manhattan; Blerim Qyteza, 35, of Manhattan; and Elvis Goxhufi, 42, of Queens.

An hour later, deputies in Queens figuratively turned out the lights on more than 300 people gathered for a New Year’s bash at the Maspeth Bar/Lounge at 55-30 58th St. in Maspeth.

The location also lacked a proper license to serve and store liquor, as well as an obstructed egress and various other health code violations, the Sheriff’s office indicated in a tweet.

Partygoers in Maspeth, Queens being sent home by the NYC Sheriff’s office on Jan. 1, 2021.Photo courtesy of NYC Sheriff’s Office
NYC Sheriff’s officers outside the Maspeth Bar/Lounge on 58th Street in Maspeth, Queens on Jan. 1, 2021.Photo courtesy of NYC Sheriff’s Office

The deputies also saw more than 25 people enter the premises through an emergency exit that had been locked from the outside. More than 300 people inside the location drank, sang karaoke and danced without observing mask and social distancing requirements.

Four individuals at the Queens party were taken into custody on various charges related to the operation of the illegal bottle club: Man Phan, 37, of Franklin Square, Long Island (identified as the bar owner); He Bin Wang, 37, of Franklin Square (Phan’s wife); Guowei Lin, 44, of Fresh Meadows, Queens (DJ) and Fang Zou, 35, of Borough Park, Brooklyn (employee). 

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