Police Charge That Pizza Parlor Was a Pot Parlor, Too
BRISTOL, R.I. (AP) _ It was more than oregano heading out the door with the pizzas from a Domino’s Pizza store, police charge.
They arrested the store manager and an employee Saturday night and charged them with running a marijuana-to-go operation along with the pizza deliveries.
Domino’s manager Arthur Singleton, 26, of East Providence was charged with possessing marijuana with intent to deliver and distributing marijuana to a minor, Detective Lt. Terrence J. Mullen said.
The charges carry 15 years to life in prison and a fine up to $500,000, if convicted, he said. A bail commissioner ordered Singleton held at the state prison until a District Court hearing Wednesday.
Store employee William G. Wood, 38, of Newport was charged with possessing marijuana and released on his own recognizance pending a Wednesday appearance in court, Mullen said.
The franchise owner, Brad Brubaker, said Singleton had worked his way up from driver to manager during the past 2 1/2 years and had a good reputation. ″That’s why it came as a shock to me,″ Brubaker said.
″I have a partner and I’m going to have to discuss with him what we can to do make sure this never happens again,″ Brubaker said.
Domino’s spokesman Mike Jenkins, speaking from Michigan, where the company headquarters is located, said it was the first time the chain ever had run into an alleged drug distributing operation from one of its stores.
While Domino’s has an extensive security department for its company-owned stores, security at franchises ″typically depends on the franchisee and how large they are,″ he said. Brubaker’s Rhode Island Pizza owns five stores.
The investigation began two months ago when an informant told Detective Raymond Falcoa about alleged marijuana trafficking at the store. Police became suspicious when they noticed numerous people go into the store but come out without pizza, Mullen said.
″Falcoa received information that you could order a pizza and marijuana and they would put the marijuana inside the box along with the pizza,″ Mullen said. ″They also would deliver.″
An undercover Warwick police officer allegedly purchased marijuana at the store, Mullen said.
Singleton’s office and car were searched, and police seized $215 and 10 bags of marijuana that Mullen alleged were sold for $50 each.