By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Police arrested an alleged meth dealer living in Stuyvesant Town last week after using the social networking app Grindr to track him down. Harold Gondrez, 65, was arrested in his apartment at 9 Stuyvesant Oval last Thursday at 6:15 a.m. Police had gotten a warrant to a search his apartment after an undercover officer allegedly bought meth from him multiple times.
The officer who was investigating the case with Narcotics Borough Manhattan South made initial contact with Gondrez through the smartphone app, which is geared towards gay and bisexual men.
Police routinely conduct investigations in which they visit internet sites where drugs are known to be advertised for sale, according to law enforcement sources, and methamphetamine use is prevalent in the gay community. Drugs are typically advertised in coded language that police have come to recognize.
The officer first met Gondrez at his apartment on June 20 around 6:45 p.m., when Gondrez allegedly handed the officer meth in exchange for cash, according to court documents. Police said that Gondrez also sold the officer “a large quantity” of meth on July 6 at 6:34 p.m. inside the Stuyvesant Oval apartment. The undercover officer bought alleged meth from Gondrez at his apartment a third time on July 12 at 6 p.m.
When police searched the suspect’s apartment last Thursday, Gondrez allegedly had methamphetamine and cocaine inside a safe in his closet, as well as five pipes with alleged drug residue in the living room. He also had $4,000 in cash, with some in the safe and some on his living room couch.
A representative from Stuy Town Property Services said that management is cooperating fully with the NYPD.
Gondrez was charged with criminal sale of and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
A lawyer for Gondrez did not immediately respond to a request for comment.