Oh, Mr. Softee — he seems so loving, doling out soft-serve to the masses,
annoying cheery tunes in the background. But behind the brightly colored facade of his truck lies an underworld. The Smithsonian rounds up a series of criminal offenses that have come from none other than the ice cream man.
Unfortunately, two of the featured crimes took place right here in New York City. The first happened in 2004, when Luis and Juana Marrero’s “Mr. Best” ice cream truck route was usurped by Fernando Esparza, who then, along with his wife, attacked the Marreros. The attackers were indicted on attempted murder and Fernando was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Esparza clearly doesn’t seem to understand that New York is filled with enough people wanting ice cream! This is a town where people are willing to pay $6 for a cup, after all.
The other crime in New York involved the sale of 43,000 oxycodone pills over a two-year period by Louis Scala, who owned a Lickety Split ice cream truck. Scala didn’t mess around either in luring customers. He’d initially give the the drugs out for free, and once the customers were hooked, they were charged escalating prices for the “treats.” But on the (sorta) plus side, he was only selling to adults. To the kiddies, he was still just the ice cream man.
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