Staten Island barbershop raided for guns and drugs

N.J. Burkett reports from Staten Island
October 17, 2013 2:41:16 PM PDT
Customers were getting more than just haircuts at a Staten Island barbershop, they could pick up guns and drugs.

Several workers are now under arrest.

"I'm not surprised because basically you can tell," said Magdy Mansour, a Great Kills resident.

Magdy Mansour says it was the strangest thing. Customers came into "Beyond Styles", but came out looking no different.

Thursday evening, Anthony LaGala, the 'Barber of Great Kills' was charged with dealing drugs and guns.

He was arrested with two alleged accomplices in a NYPD-DEA sting operation.

"This is location in the heart of Great Kills, a place where shoppers and families and kids frequent always, in fact it is a location where children got their haircuts," Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan said.

Donovan says LaGala sold undercover agents three handguns and an Uzi sub machinegun, while trafficking in hundreds of prescription painkillers every week.

"These cases are a priority for us, it's what's killing the most people, certainly in new York City and here in Staten Island," said Brian Crowell, DEA Special Agent in Charge.

No one answered the door Thursday afternoon at the suspect's home.

But merchants in Great Kills told Eyewitness News they had their suspicions for months.

Mike Azer says his car service was often called to pick-up and drop-off LaGala's customers who didn't seem all that well-groomed at all.

"Nobody notices exactly when they come, but I do with experience," said Mike Azer, a car service company owner.