Jail in the Cards for Alleged Drug Dealers

Their business cards were their downfall: officials

By Alice McQuillan
|  Friday, Jan 21, 2011  |  Updated 4:17 PM EDT
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Jail in the Cards for Alleged Drug Dealers

NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor

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Business cards advertising a 24-hour drug delivery service became go-to-jail cards for two alleged marijuana and cocaine dealers.

Showing a marketing swagger that astonished a Manhattan judge Friday, the pair allegedly spread around their cards like those ubiquitous restaurant menus slipped under apartment doors.

They paper-clipped the cards to Village Voice newspapers in a distribution box outside a New York University dorm and stuck them inside apartment doors in Tribeca, officials said.

Bearing either a "Coca Cola" logo or the words "Purple Rain....Up in Smoke" above a livery cab, these cards helped the suspects attract more than 200 customers who typically flooded their cell phones with 170 in-coming and out-going calls on their busiest nights, officials said.

The pair catered to students and the "bar/lounge crowd in the East village and the Lower East Side," said police and Bridget Brennan, the special narcotics prosecutor.

Suspects Thomas Zenon, 40, and Miguel Guzman, 43, both of Washington Heights, were arrested after a three-month investigation where undercover officers bought cocaine and marijuana from them a dozen times between mid October and yesterday officials said.

While hearing their not guilty plea, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Laura Ward set $1 million bail for each saying "I've never seen something as inventive as this," according to the New York Post.

Guzman was allegedly carrying 16 grams of cocaine, more than $1,600 in cash and four cell phones when busted Thursday night while about to make a delivery on the Upper West Side, officials said.  Inside his car, police said they  found the Coca Cola business cards.

Inside Zeno's car, were the Purple Rain cards and a coffee thermos jammed with 20 bags of pot, police said.

 

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