Deli Sold Bagels with Oxy

By Ariel Nagi 08/24/11

A Staten Island bagel store whose customers rarely came for the food has been busted as part of "Operation Bitter Pill."

Nel-Boy: Name in lights Photo via

Would you like a benzo with your bagel? It turns out that breakfast wasn't the only thing for sale at Nel Boy-Bagels in Staten Island, New York—plentiful prescription pills were also on sale. Customers could buy an oxycodone pill for $20 along with their morning coffee. Alerted by neighbors who wondered why so many people left the store without any baked goods, cops launched a month-long investigation of the bagel store. Then last week they arrested eight employees, including owner Syed Rashid, who faces three counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree after the store was shut down Friday. Nel-Boy Bagels wouldn't have passed a health inspection either: Investigators also recovered several glassine envelopes of heroin and some dirty syringes from the deli's back room.  The swoop was part of "Operation Bitter Pill," a drug sweep of the local area that began in 2010—undercover detectives from the Staten Island Narcotics Bureau have so far purchased 2,500 Oxycodone, 368 Percocet and 245 Xanax pills, along with 300 grams of cocaine and two firearms. "Prescription drug abuse is not going to be the next drug scourge—it already is," said District Attorney Danial Donovan on the operation, which also picked up 100 bags of heroin, eight ounces of marijuana, cash and other assets, and made a total of 25 arrests. New York is certainly no stranger to such innocuous-looking fronts—earlier this year, for example cops busted an ice cream truck that earned an extra $1 million a year serving oxy as well as ice cream to its under-aged patrons.

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