'Cherry King' Shoots Himself In The Head As Secret Drug Den is Revealed
The police weren’t looking for drugs, and no one expected him to commit suicide right there.
A shocking discovery at a historic cherry factory. It turns out, there was a secret drug lab in the basement, and it's drawing comparisons to TV's Breaking Bad. On the show, a laundromat is used as a front for a meth lab.
"Cherry King's Drug Shame," says the front page of the New York Daily News.
When investigators went to the Dell's Maraschino Cherries Plant in Brooklyn, New York, they picked up a faint smell of weed and an eagle-eye detective noticed a flimsy-looking shelving system.
Behind the shelves was a secret room that led to the underground drug den.
There they found 80 pounds of pot, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, and an elaborate pot-growing operation. Also, a fleet of vintage cars, including a Rolls Royce and a Porsche.
Then came the next shock, before they could arrest 57-year-old owner Arthur Mondella, he asked to go to the bathroom.
Suddenly, he shouted to his sister, "Take care of my kids!"
Then, he shot himself in the head.
The family-run factory opened for business in 1939. Three generations later, the cherries are still popular with clients like Red Lobster and Chik-fil-A.
One video was taken by the New York Daily News last year that taped a manager showing how the cherries are produced.
He said, "We're a ma and pop operation, dying out in America."
Today, there is shock that the cherry king was hiding a secret life.
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