People may have been drawn to Queen’s highly-rated Cucino a Modo Mio pizzeria for the fresh cassava but they stayed for the hundreds of pounds of sweet, fresh cocaine, cops say.

At least 16 people were arrested in a major bust in March and charged today in federal court in what authorities are describing as a family business run out of the kitchen of the family business.

Perhaps assuming no one would know what cassava is—I’m still unsure, it appears to be some sort of tuber?—the family repeatedly hid kilos of coke inside the produce boxes. Which begs the question—why not hide it in the flour? Seems a little less obvious. I don’t know, just some food for thought.

Via the New York Times:

After putting a wiretap on the phone of the pizzeria, Cucino a Modo Mio, agents searched shipments of the cassava bound for the Gigliottis’ wholesale-produce warehouse. In October 2014, they found 40 kilograms of cocaine inside cardboard boxes of cassava, and in December, they found an additional 15 kilograms inside the boxes.

Some of that cocaine was headed for Italy, according to a news release from the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, where there was a “narcotics distribution ring allegedly operating in Calabria on behalf of the U.S. defendants.”

The restaurant, which had maintained an impressive 4.5 star rating despite the shenanigans in the back, is now CLOSED according to Yelp.

[image via Google Maps]

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