The Carabinieri of the Wolf Squad of the Investigative Unit of the Provincial Command of Catania arrested a 46-year-old and a 34-year-old, both from Catania, in flagrante delicto for possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking. The officers observed a constant flow of people at a bakery on Plebiscito Street in the densely populated neighborhood of San Cristoforo, from which several customers were seen leaving without any bread. The Carabinieri conducted several stakeouts, blending in with the customers, and discovered that the bakery was actually the operational base for two drug dealers. In order to catch the two pushers in the act, the Carabinieri went to the location in the afternoon and carried out a search to confirm their suspicions. The owner of the business, a 46-year-old, displayed signs of nervousness upon seeing the officers and began moving between rooms anxiously. However, the officers kept an eye on him and noticed that at one point, a 34-year-old employee approached him and whispered something in his ear. One of the officers, understanding the situation, decided to follow this employee and saw him take a bag from a storage room and attempt to quickly leave the bakery. The officer promptly stopped him and the 34-year-old had no choice but to hand over the bag, which contained three packages of cocaine weighing a total of 131 grams, worth about 12,000 euros on the black market. The search also extended to the storage room and changing room, where various pieces of aluminum foil soaked in cocaine and 720 euros, proceeds from drug dealing, were found. All the rooms in the bakery appeared to lack the necessary hygiene for a commercial establishment that produces baked goods. The Carabinieri decided to collaborate with the Nas (health and food safety) unit in Catania, who specialize in food counterfeiting and health and hold the qualification of health inspector. When they arrived at the scene, they inspected several refrigerators that were not powered by electricity but still contained products that needed to be refrigerated. Margarines and various doughs were completely invaded by mold, as were already baked goods. Additionally, the metal structures on which approximately 150 kilograms of bread were placed ready for baking were encrusted, and there was a large colony of cockroaches on the floor and walls. As a result, the food in poor condition was seized, and the owner of the bakery, in addition to being arrested for drug possession for the purpose of trafficking, was fined over 12,000 euros. Given the seriousness of the health and hygiene deficiencies, the ASP (local health authority) in Catania was also involved, issuing a suspension of business activity until the necessary requirements were met and imposing an additional administrative fine of 1,000 euros due to the serious hygiene deficiencies. The 46-year-old owner and the 34-year-old employee were placed under house arrest and are at the disposal of the judicial authorities, who confirmed their arrest after validation and imposed precautionary measures at their respective residences.
Catania, spaccio di droga nel panificio: due arresti. Il negozio chiuso per carenze igieniche