BY KAITLYN MEADE |
The World Trade Center transportation hub briefly became a center of crime when three construction workers were arrested Friday morning for selling pot there, the Port Authority said. The workers were arrested as they arrived for work at the W.T.C. Transportation Hub between 6:20-7:15 a.m.
Brian McDermott, 34; John Fama, 30; and Cesar Rivera, 25 are facing five counts of drug sale and possession. They are also banned from the W.T.C. site.
The three men, employed by Long Island-based Sorbara Construction Corp. were arrested after previously selling marijuana to several undercover officers, a Port Authority spokesperson confirmed. The arrest is part of a seven-month investigation into drug sales and usage on the W.T.C. site, conducted by the Port Authority Inspector General’s office.
“Sometime in August we had an integrity monitor on the scene when he smelled the aroma of marijuana and he checked it out and it was coming from the port-a-potties. He reported it to us and we launched an investigation,” said Michael Nestor, director of the office of investigations. Nestor said they had made numerous buys over the past 5-6 months, told Downtown Express.
“The investigation is moving in another direction now,” he said. “We’re looking for the suppliers.” He also said that it was the first time the W.T.C. had had a narcotics-related incident, though there had been several related to smoking and drinking alcohol over the past few years.
A Port Authority representative told the New York Post that it was particularly easy to pedal marijuana on the job because there are few police officers walking around, but the Port Authority disputed the claim.
“There is no place at the World Trade Center site for those who want to use or sell illegal drugs thereby endangering their coworkers and the public. We will not tolerate this behavior, and those who try to get away with it will be caught, prosecuted and permanently tossed off the site,” Port Authority executive director Pat Foye, said in a statement.