Manhattan's Wealthy Are Afraid To Buy Cocaine

By McCarton Ackerman 07/18/16

A recent police crackdown has left Manhattan one-percenters on edge about buying their drug of choice. 

Manhattan's Wealthy Are Afraid To Buy Cocaine

After NYPD authorities recently busted an assortment of Manhattan cocaine dealers and their high-profile customers, including a Chipotle executive, New York City’s wealthy elite are now reportedly afraid to continue purchasing the drug.

The New York Post interviewed several anonymous people who said that while they wouldn’t be ceasing their cocaine use, they would be far more careful in how they obtained it. A Manhattan publicist who admitted using cocaine on the weekends said the situation “is actually terrifying. Everybody is scared … your face is all of a sudden all over the world. Your career is over.”

A 45-year-old restauranteur with a self-admitted 3.5 grams-per-week habit said the incident means he’ll now only buy cocaine from trusted sources. When his dealer ran late for a drop-off during a client meeting, he said he turned down the chance to buy cocaine from a man inside the bar.

“Before the bust was in the news, we would have taken a shot,” he explained. “But now I’m more cautious. We thought he looked too clean-cut. We didn’t get involved.”

A millennial lamented to the newspaper that the recent rash of arrests were “like busting people for drinking coffee. [Cocaine] makes you energetic and social … [But] I’ll be 100 percent more cautious. I won’t go out and get cocaine. I’ll have somebody get it for me.” A 37-year-old “web entrepreneur” and monthly cocaine user even suggested that the drug had become a status symbol of the modern digital economy, claiming that “you see successful, well-off people using it and wonder why you shouldn’t.”

On July 5, Chipotle executive Mark Crumpacker surrendered to authorities on seven misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. The New York Post reported that he was one of 18 high-profile defendants listed in an indictment as alleged buyers from a cocaine delivery service run by Kenny Hernandez. The other defendants included a Fox Business Network producer and a Merrill Lynch associate.

Prosecutor Patrick Doherty said the 53-year-old Crumpacker had been intercepted on wiretap 13 times during the investigation. The Chipotle executive reportedly had numerous cocaine buys totaling $3,000 delivered to his luxury Union Square apartment.

Crumpacker posted $10,000 bail on July 5 and is now awaiting trial. Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold told the Post that Crumpacker “remains on a leave of absence from his job to focus on these personal matters.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.