(New York) Law enforcement officials from New York’s Department of Health seized over 10,000 gallons of sugary-sweet Mountain Dew and other beverages in a late night raid, according to sources.
The raid, which happened at 7 p.m.. Friday evening at 115 Amsterdam Avenue, involved a bust-up of a local boy’s sixth birthday party at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant.
“We were just enjoying pizza and watching the [animatronic] band perform,” said Cindy Lee, who was in attendance with her daughter. “All of a sudden we hear, ‘Hands up – this is a raid!’ and everyone started fleeing toward the rear exits.”
While some people got away, the Health Department Task Force made 36 arrests, including the restaurant owner, who was charged with selling sweetened beverages in containers larger than 16 ounces, which are banned in the city.
“I run a family establishment,” the owner, Marc Hanson, told reporters. “All I gotta say is the plastic cups given to the customers are eight ounces. I don’t control what goes in ’em.” When asked about the larger containers of soda found in the stock room, Hanson replied, “I don’t know nothin’ about that.”
The containers, including 2-liter bottles of soda and large barrels of syrup, were ceremoniously dumped in the gutter outside the Chuck E. Cheese. Authorities are now trying to ascertain the local distributor of the ill-gotten beverages.
Upon announcing the raid at his morning press conference, Mayor Bloomberg praised his health enforcers. “This is a great day for New York in our ongoing fight against obesity, diabetes, and other preventable illnesses,” Bloomberg said. “I commend the men and women in our Department of Health, and we will reveal details of this case as they develop.”
This is the biggest raid by the Bloomberg Administration since 2007, when authorities targeted the famed “Trans Fat Twenty,” mafioso food dealers on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx who were selling illegal sausages, cheeses, and cannoli. Thirteen men were arrested, and seven suspects were gunned down along with two Health Department officials in the bloody encounter.