A Brooklyn ice cream man has been arrested for selling cocaine and painkillers out of his truck full of treats as children bought frozen sweets just a few feet away. Mina Gatas, 20, is accused of selling drugs to an undercover investigator, once near a deli where he works and another time from the ice cream truck, which he jointly owns.
The Brooklyn district attorney's office said Gatas sold $830 worth of cocaine, or about 15 grams, to the officer from the ice cream truck one day in July. Prosecutors say the undercover officer met Gatas near the truck, which was parked at Owls Head Pier in Bay Ridge. They got into the truck together and the officer asked for a vanilla ice cream cone and took off his hat, which contained $830. At that point, Gatas took the money, went to the other side of the truck, and returned with an ice cream cone and clear plastic bag with cocaine and oxycodone pills, prosecutors said. He asked if the officer wanted sprinkles, and placed the bag in the officer's hat. The alleged exchange was caught on video. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said Gatas "chose to use these busy, family-oriented public venues to facilitate and negotiate his drug deals." Brooklyn residents said the choice of an ice cream truck was troubling. "It's like an advertisement for little kids," said Modesta Nolasco. "I was really seriously appalled," said Miriam Alexander. "The nerve of this person to sell drugs. That's a whole new ballgame." The alleged ice cream truck buy came a few days after the undercover officer had already purchased 13 grams of cocaine from Gatas out of his car in another location, prosecutors said.
Gatas is charged with several counts. He had no attorney on file.