NY Cherry Factory Has Secret Room, Owner Commits Suicide Moments After Police Open It Up

The owner of a maraschino cherry plant killed himself as police discovered a marijuana grow operation behind the factory walls.

Arthur Mondella, 57, was apparently cooperating with investigators for five hours who came to Dell's Maraschino Cherries factory in Brooklyn, New York to investigate allegations the family business had been illegally dumping waste.

Investigators first noticed suspicious shelving in a storage unit, the found a door with a false wall behind it. Officers noted the smell of weed seeping through the false wall. 

A dug-out basement was discovered, along with a large quantity of fresh marijuana. 

Media sources report that generators were also found along with a high-tech security system with cameras, barbed wire, and motion-detectors.

Mondella apparently excused himself and went to his private bathroom, then locked the door and shot himself at 1:30 pm, around five hours after police first arrived. 

It seems Mondella told his sister, Joanne Capece, to “take care of my kids” before he went to the bathroom. 

A single gunshot was heard, and Mondella was declared dead at a local hospital from a gunshot wound.

The DA's office noted they recovered 80 lbs of pot and hundreds of thousands of dollars were also hidden in the secret room.

The entire operation was hidden behind shelves operated by magnets.

Several vintage vehicles were also found covered in a tarp in a back lot of the maraschino cherry plant.

Investigators were investigating the firm over allegations it had been dumping hazardous waste into the sewage system, but also got a tip that the factory being used as a grow room.

An NYC law enforcement source commented to the media: “It appears there was another activity going on, that's for sure. I don't think you kill yourself over a bag of weed. There has to be more to it.”

Although they had the factory under surveillance for six months, the DA's office could not confirm there was a marijuana operation inside.  
The police source also remarked the environmental offense warrants were really just an excuse to get into the building and take a closer look.

A statement from the DA's office noted: “no further information about this tragedy is available at this time”.

Source: Mail Online
Photo: [SOURCE]

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