Crime

Police Discover Secret Room In NY Cherry Factory, Owner Immediately Commits Suicide (Photos)

| by Charles Roberts

The owner of Dell's Maraschino Cherries reportedly shot himself dead in the factory bathroom on Tuesday after police uncovered a secret hidden drug lab behind the Brooklyn factory's walls. 

Investigators were at the factory questioning Arthur Mondella, 57, about an environmental issue. But when they reportedly smelled marijuana, they broadened their investigation. At first, Mondella reportedly told police he didn't want them to search behind a wall in his office that led into a secret room, reports the Daily Mail. But when it became clear that police were suspicious of this room, he allegedly excused himself to go to the bathroom, where he reportedly shot himself dead with a .357 magnum handgun.

Prior to killing himself, Mondella reportedly shouted out to his sister, who was also at the factory, "Take care of my kids," reports CBS News

Mondella died later that day at a hospital. 

The investigators had originally planned to look into suspicions they had about whether Dell's Maraschino Cherries was illegally dumping hazardous materials and chemicals used to process the cherries into the sewer system. When they pushed through the office's secret door, they reportedly discovered a drug lab behind the walls. Sources say they found 80 pounds of marijuana and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash hidden in the secret room. They also reportedly found tarp-covered vintage cars parked in a back lot.

An investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made at this time.

Sources: Daily MailCBS News/Photo Credit: WindyWinters/Flickr