Another Lark Street shop owner busted for drugs -- at the same address

Lark News 1.jpg

Another drug bust at Lark News

Albany police say the owner and an employee of Lark News and Grocery Saturday evening for drug possession. The APD says officer Michael Geraci -- the beat officer for the Lark Street area -- stopped into the store and saw the owner -- Zahid Gilani -- "sitting with several bags of marijuana and a scale at the stores counter." A store employee was also allegedly found with crystal meth, according to the APD.

This is the second drugs-related arrest/incident at 252 Lark Street (Lark and Hudson, streetview) in the last month. A man police say is the owner of Jay's Place, upstairs, was arrested (again by officer Geraci) for alleged cocaine and heroin possession at the end of March (note this comment by Mk).

APD spokesman Steven Smith says Gilani owns the whole building, but it's currently unknown if the two situations are connected.

Full press release after the jump.

APD: Lark Street Store Owner Arrested for Drugs
Albany police arrested a Lark Street store owner and his employee Saturday evening after an alert beat cop caught them with marijuana and crystal meth.
Officer Michael Geraci who oversees the Center Square and Hudson Park neighborhoods, stopped into Lark News and Grocery, 252 Lark Street around 4:40 p.m. to speak with the store's owner. When the officer walked inside, the owner, Zahid Gilani, 55, 11 Oxford Drive, Latham, was sitting with several bags of marijuana and a scale at the stores counter.
During the course of the investigation, the officer spoke with Arthur McDuffie, 41, 305 Hudson Avenue, who works at the store. He was found to have 500mg of Crystal Meth in his pants pocket.
Gilani was charged with Criminal Possession of Marijuana 5th.
McDuffie was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance.
Both were arraigned this morning in City Criminal Court.

Find It

Drug arrest at Lark News and Grocery
252 Lark Street
Albany, NY 12210

Comments

I live halfway down the block from that corner and the place--and its employees--have always seemed dicey. Everything is overpriced and nothing looks clean. The owners always dump food (for birds or squirrels I guess) on the corner so it's always a mess there. I hope it gets shut down a decent corner store is put in its place. They do have a sweet cat, though....

No! Really? Zach was dealing weed? SHOCK!

I suspect that the arresting officer is going to find himself removed from several Christmas Card lists this year.

Ah Albany.

This is a surprise to no-one.

I can't remember whether this is the store that used to sell Kinder Surprise eggs. Now that's some serious contraband.

"I'm shocked, shocked, to learn that gambling is going on here!"

Who has $20 for Zak's legal defense fund?

I stopped going there a while ago. You'd figure that the weed selling would subsidize the prices of other products. NOPE! His place is so much more expensive than the other stores in the area.

Yeah, everything is insanely overpriced there. They had actually gotten fined for gouging the prices of cigarettes a year or so ago (up to almost $13 a pack). But they didn't even seem to hide the pot use...on more than one occasion I walked in there while it reeked. Also, they have a exhaust vent on the Jay Street side of the building that blows all the smoke onto the street, for the whole vicinity to experience. I do like the kitty though- Princess is her name. I hope someone takes care of her.

@Tim: Keeping prices artificially high means no pesky restocking.

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