BROOKLYN CRIMINAL COURT — The son of a Brooklyn bodega owner who sources say is at the center of a massive K2 overdose that sickened 33 people in Bed-Stuy on Tuesday giggled as he walked out of court after being arrested as part of a police raid on the site.
Yeyhi Thabet, whose father owns the Big Boy Deli at 930 Broadway, was nabbed while working there Wednesday after police raided the place and found seven packs of cigarettes without New York State tax stamps and four packs with counterfeit tax stamps, prosecutors said.
The raid came a day after 33 people suffered apparent K2 overdoses at the intersection where the deli is located, which locals say is a known hot spot for drug users hooked on synthetic marijuana.
Sources said the bodega is a supplier of the illegal chemical drug, known as "Spice," "Smacked,” "Geeked Up,” and "AK-47," among other names, which can vary wildly from batch to batch and frequently send its users into a "zombie-like" state.
Prosecutor Wilfredo Cotto told a judge that while "no K2 was found at the location," the untaxed illegal cigarettes were.
Cotto said the defendant told arresting police, "This has happened before. They always think I own (Big Boy Deli) but my father owns it."
Thabet's lawyer, James Kirshner, told the judge that Thabet was "in front of the store" when he was arrested.
"We're talking about 11 packs of cigarettes here," Kirshner said, asking Judge Carolyn Walker-Diallo to release his client without bail. He is due back in court on Sept. 26.
Wednesday's raids also netted a second staffer at Big Boy Deli, Louis Valentine, who Assistant District Attorney Tziyonah Langsam said has a long rap sheet including 10 years in prison on federal narcotics charges and 10 years in prison on possession of firearm charges. Prosecutors did not specify the years or locations of these arrests.
Police said Valentine had brass knuckles in his pocket, which he told police he carried "around for protection."
Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge Jane Tully ordered Valentine be held on $5,000 bond or $25,000 cash bail. He is due back in court Friday.
Valentine's defense attorney, Erica Cioffero, said while her client worked at Big Boy deli, he was not working on Wednesday when officers raided the shop.
"He was merely in there ordering a sandwich," Cioffero said. "Even if he was an employee, he would have no knowledge if the tax stamps were forged but that's not even the situation."