PARK SLOPE — He was an ex-con drug dealer with a cache of weapons, mounds of cocaine and thousands of dollars stashed in his Park Slope brownstone, police say, but neighbors knew him as the guy who hogged parking on the block with orange traffic cones.
NYPD officers and federal agents arrested Ernest Jacobs, 38, Wednesday after an early morning search of his St. John's Place house turned up cocaine, marijuana, drug scales, a semiautomatic 9mm pistol in the basement, and a cocked and loaded .45 in the bedroom, according to a criminal complaint. Officers also found $4,465 in cash.
Jacobs was charged with felony criminal possession of a controlled substance and felony criminal possession of a weapon. His girlfriend, Ana Robles, was arrested on the same charges.
The two were also both charged with endangering the welfare of a child because Robles' 7-year-old son was in the house at the time of the arrest, police said. Robles told officers the child is autistic, according to a criminal complaint.
“We are deeply troubled by this disturbing news and are investigating this case,” said a spokeswoman for the Administration for Children’s Services.
Defense attorneys for Jacobs and Robles could not be reached immediately for comment. Jacobs was arraigned Oct. 6 and held on $150,000 cash bail. Robles, who has a private attorney, was held on $25,000 bail.
Other than four small video cameras aimed discreetly at the street, the brownstone where Jacobs lived and was arrested didn't stand out too much, neighbors said.
Groups of men would sometimes smoke weed on Jacobs' stoop, but that didn't worry locals, said a neighbor who didn't want to be identified by name. An employee at a nearby day care said she remembers seeing Robles taking her son to school in the morning.
The block's main beef with Jacobs was over parking.
Jacobs frequently took orange traffic cones from a nearby construction site and used them to block off a parking spot for his white two-door BMW right in front of his house, the neighbor said.
Locals also believe Jacobs used the cones to keep the spots in front of his house clear so his customers could come and go quickly, the neighbor said.
At dawn Wednesday morning, more than two dozen NYPD officers and agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives swarmed Jacobs' house, the neighbor said.
Members of the NYPD's gun violence suppression unit helped arrest Jacobs.
The brownstone where Jacobs was arrested is two doors down from a day care, one of two on the block.
"It's scary to think this is all happening one house away," an employee at the day care said.
Jacobs was paroled from state prison in 2015 after serving two years on a second degree attempted assault conviction, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. He was also incarcerated for three years starting in 2004 for a second degree assault conviction, a DOCCS spokesman said.
"There was nothing atypical [about him], but maybe that's just because my blinders were on and I wasn't paying attention because I live in Park Slope and why would I think there was a massive gun or drug dealer in my neighborhood," the neighbor said.