Oct. 27, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
A botched break-in attempt led to a big drug bust in Astoria earlier this month.
Two men wearing green and red goblin masks attempted to break in to an apartment at 30-44 32nd Street on October 7. Though the break-in proved unsuccessful, when police arrived at the victim’s house they discovered large amounts of marijuana and other controlled substances at the scene, according to police.
Upon the discovery, police executed a search warrant around 1 a.m. and found over three pounds of marijuana, 18 grams of mushrooms, various drug paraphernalia, a pistol and a stun gun in the apartment.
The residents Robert Yopp and Natalie Manletti were arrested and charged.
Each suspect was charged with three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree, sales and distribution of synthetic cannabis, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, two count of criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.
They will both stand trial on November 14. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree is a class B felony, according to the DA’s office, meaning that the minimum sentence is one to three years in prison, and the maximum sentence is 25 years.
The burglary that led to the discovery of the drugs was part of a pattern, according to 114th Precinct captain Peter Fortune.
On October 7 the same men tried to rob the Holiday Inn at 39-05 29th Street, entering the building and demanding that the front desk worker open the safe. However the men got spooked and ran without taking anything, Fortune said.
Fortune said that police believe that the first break-in on 32nd Street was “narcotics related,” but was unsure about the connection between the two incidents.
“Why they hit the Holiday Inn, at this point I don’t know what the connection is between that and somebody’s residence on 32nd street, however when you look at the video it’s definitely the same two perpetrators,” Fortune said.
“We’ve deployed our plain clothes teams in and around those areas, we’re still working with our detective squad to figure out the connection between those locations,” Fortune added, saying that they have not seen any related incidents since.