Possible crack pipe vending machines found on Long Island

Kristin Thorne Image
Monday, September 10, 2018
Possible crack pipe vending machines found on Long Island
Kristin Thorne reports on the possible crack pipe vending machines.

CORAM, Long Island (WABC) -- Town of Brookhaven officials and Suffolk County police are trying to figure out who placed three potential crack pipe vending machines, dubbed as pen vending machines, in Coram and Medford.

The town received complaints about the machines over the weekend. Two of them -- one of which had partially destroyed by community members -- have been removed.

The blue and white vending machines, which featured the words "Sketch Pens" on the outside in black and red font, were mounted in cement into the ground and would dispense a small glass tube and a filter. Included was the top of a pen, which could be put into the glass tube to form a pen, along with an ink tube.

The "pens" cost $2 each, and the machines would accept the payment in the form of eight quarters.

"You think you've heard of everything," Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine said. "I continue to be surprised by some of the audacity of those that would break the law in promoting drugs and drug paraphernalia."

One dispenser was found in front of Coram Commons shopping center on Middle Country Road. Resident Scott Malz took a video of it on Saturday and posted it to Facebook.

"I wanted the community to see what was going on and try to get rid of it as quick as possible," he said. "Because that's actually a bad area for drugs."

Danielle Blom said one was located just outside her apartment complex on Route 112 in Medford. She said an angry community member smashed it to pieces.

"We've been here for three years," she said. "We've never had any problems, and now this. So it's pretty disgusting."

Suffolk County police will decide if the machines warrant criminal charges.

"To sell a pipe is not illegal, but this is considered drug paraphernalia," Town Councilman Michael Loguercio said. "And it also is being dispensed from a machine that was installed illegally per town code."

An Eyewitness News viewer wrote to reporter Kristin Thorne on Twitter and said he purchased the pen for his commute to the city on the LIRR. He said the instructions said what appears to be a filter is actually a fabric to rub off ink, or it can be used as an eraser.

Anyone with information is asked to call Suffolk police or the town at 631-451-TOWN.


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