Without drugs what’s a party in New York?

N.Y. Club Busts Part Of Ongoing Crackdown
‘Operation Cinderella’ resulted in 74 arrests, and police say clubs can expect more raids.
by Corey Moss

August 8, 2000

Drug raids that yielded 74 arrests last weekend at New York clubs were part of an ongoing crackdown, and more raids are expected at other clubs, police said.

The police action, dubbed “Operation Cinderella,” was conducted by officers and drug-sniffing dogs from the Midtown South precinct, according to New York City Police Department spokesperson Stephen Biegel.

House and techno clubs the Social Club and Sound Factory were hit hardest by the operation last week, according to police. The two clubs specialize in loud, throbbing dance music popular among a young crowd. Sound Factory, a predominantly gay venue, features DJ and producer Jonathan Peters every Saturday night for extended sets.

Undercover officers arrested 25 people late Friday and early Saturday inside the Social Club, on East 2nd Street in Manhattan, for allegedly purchasing or selling Ecstasy, Biegel said. Five people were arrested inside Sound Factory, on West 46th Street, and 11 more were arrested outside the club for drug charges pertaining to Ecstasy, marijuana, crack, cocaine and heroin.

Six arrests pertaining to Ecstasy were made inside Vinyl, on Hubert Street in Lower Manhattan. Five arrests were made inside Roxy, on West 18th Street, six arrests were made outside Twilo, on West 27th Street, and 16 arrests were made outside Speed, on West 39th Street, on various other drug offenses.

Police did not raid Tunnel, Cheetah or Ohm, as they originally had reported, Biegel said. The number of arrests also was lower than previously reported.

New York’s Tunnel Nightclub entrance into the dark realms of Manhattan nightlife.

New York’s Tunnel Nightclub entrance into the dark realms of Manhattan nightlife.

Clubs: Raids Won’t Hurt Business

A spokesperson for Roxy, who refused to give his name, denied that any drug arrests were made at the club and suggested that any arrests made inside or outside the club during the weekend were in conjunction with other crimes.

“The police were not raiding our club looking for dealers,” the spokesperson said. “They know how tight our search is. Plus, they were in and out in two minutes. We had 1,700 people here Friday night. They knew who they were looking for.”

Biegel did not comment on the specifics of the Roxy arrests, except to say that the club was part of the raid.

The Social Club could not be reached. A spokesperson for Sound Factory refused to comment.

Greg Gumo, director of Tunnel, and the spokesperson for Roxy said the club raids would not affect their business.

“We’ve been extremely tough on sneaking drugs into our club for 10 years, and it’s never been a big deal with our crowd,” the Roxy spokesperson said. “They like it because they know they’ll be safe. You would have to be a magician to sneak stuff in here. It is impossible.”

Gumo said the negative press the club scene has received in recent months might hurt some venues but predicted Tunnel will not see a decline in attendance, especially because the club was not raided.

“We run a tight policy here, and people know that,” Gumo said.

Biegel said club owners and performers should be glad to see police arresting drug dealers inside their clubs.

“They’re the first ones who get upset when there’s a shooting in their club and they’re all over TV for violence. They should be applauding our efforts, not thinking that we’re aiming at them,” Biegel said.