ENGLEWOOD, N.J. (WABC) -- A very well-known fast food business in the heart of Englewood had its doors shuttered after a collaborative effort between police and the Health Department led to a major bust.
Investigators say four employees there were serving much more than chicken and fish. They were allegedly serving up drugs, untaxed tobacco products, and a variety of stolen electronics.
"I've had my suspicions, but I tried to keep as far away from it as possible," a resident said.
An epicenter of problems is how police describe Crown Fish & Chicken, a longtime West Englewood Avenue staple. Investigators say it was a magnet for crime.
Anonymous tips prompted the Health Department to send a minor there Saturday to buy cigarettes during an undercover sting, but when police followed up with a raid days later what they uncovered was much more than secret recipes.
"Literally thousands and thousands of pieces of drug paraphernalia not only related to marijuana, but also crack cocaine," said Det. Capt. Timothy Torell, of the Englewood Police Department.
Det. Capt. Torell says in all, detectives recovered over 100 bags of marijuana in addition to other drug paraphernalia, stolen electronics, and more than 16,000 untaxed tobacco products from out of state.
"I didn't expect to find the amount of stuff that we found, especially the fact that they had an apartment right next to or right behind the establishment," Torell said.
Police arrested four store employees Tuesday who they discovered were undocumented immigrants from Bangladesh, along with recovering $20,000 in cash.
It's a huge bust neighbors say is already making a huge difference in this small community.
"Do you see a difference is this an improvement?" Eyewitness News asked.
"This is awesome, I mean look at that, now normally you see guys hanging out their car, now it's like a storm blow through there," said Fernando Simpson, a resident.
"Every day when I came home from work I would usually have to walk in the street just to get by," said Kevin Gresham, a resident. "There's a distinct difference now when I walk down the street, I can walk on the sidewalk."
"Of course there's no one on the corner, it's empty, it's quiet, and that's what we need," said Dolores Glover, a resident.
All four suspects were taken to the Bergen County Jail and are now facing a variety of charges.
Police say this investigation is ongoing and more arrests and charges could be pending.
Englewood fast food joint selling more than just chicken, police make major drug bust
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