SUNSET PARK — This isn't quite what Papa John's meant by "better ingredients."
Papa John's employee Ramon Rodriguez, 46, allegedly made 19 cocaine sales to undercover cops since 2011, many while on the job, and was finally busted after selling a kilo to police for $27,000 Wednesday evening, authorities charge.
The pieman sold mainly in front of the Sunset Park franchise on Fifth Avenue and 58th Street while still in uniform, the NYPD said, sometimes hiding the cocaine in a pizza box.
"The undercover observed Rodriguez go inside the restaurant and return with a bag, a pizza box and a chicken nuggets box," said the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor in a press release. "He was arrested as he placed the bag, which contained a kilo of cocaine, inside the trunk of the undercover officer’s car."
Rodriguez also allegedly made sales near his Sunset Park home at on 9th Avenue. When police searched his home they found $4,500 in cash and drug paraphernalia, including a scale and packaging material, according to the NYPD. A small amount of cocaine was also allegedly found in Rodriguez's car.
His prior sales to undercover officers totaled about $18,000, in amounts ranging from 20 grams for $600 to 70 grams for $2,100.
An alleged associate of Rodriguez's, Jonathan Martinez, 28, was also arrested Wednesday for selling an undercover officer 40 grams for $1,200 back in November 2011, police said.
Rodriguez is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Martinez is charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance.