“The sour,” the alleged gangsters called their wackily-wrapped weed, according to videos they’d idiotically posted publicly, on YouTube.
“If you want the sour,” officials say they rapped, “come to 118th and Lexington.”
Steerers on the street would lead pot buyers to the bodega on that corner — the Nessin Deli at 1901 Lexington Ave — where customers would be directed to the aisle where “Sour Power” was stowed on a shelf, courtesy of the allegedly complicit bodega owners.
The pot’s packaging was a pun on the street brand, “sour diesel,” identifying a particularly potent kind of marijuana, officials said.
“It has a real pungent, cat urine smell,” said Det. John Hourican of Manhattan North Narcotics. “You know you’re buying the sour diesel if it smells like cat urine.”
Fifteen alleged gang members have been indicted on charges including conspiracy and the sale of marijuana and crack. In addition, two bodega employees have been busted and the bodega itself shuttered as a nuisance by city officials.
Since January, 2011, the blocks neighboring that intersection have been the site of five fatal shootings, 22 non-fatal shootings and 33 reports of shots being fired, Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance said.
“To make this neighborhood safer, law enforcement is using a coordinated approach to target drug sales there,” he said.
The investigation was a joint effort of the DA’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit and the NYPD’s Manhattan North Narcotics Bureau.