NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Less than four days after a story on Talk of the Sound linking a North Avenue convenience store to drug dealing, tax evasion and illegal sale of loose cigarettes, New Rochelle Police and a City of New Rochelle Building Inspector swooped down on the New Roc Mini-Mart late this afternoon and shut it down -- likely for good.
The store at 149 North Avenue is owned and operated by Abbas Alsaidi, a notorious FBI Counter-Terrorism informant in the Liberty City Seven case which involved claims of an aspirational plot to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago.
The Building Department cited the store for numerous violations including a sump pump connected to sanitary sewer, rear exit in basement blocked, illegal loft above a backroom office, cat feces all over the basement, illegal bathroom including a bath tub use of copper pipe as electrical conduit, a disassembled boiler/no heat, space heaters powered by illegal extension cords, illegal window signage (greater than 15%), sink with only drainage pipes, an illegal hood (kitchen venting), and selling food/coffee with no health inspection certificate.
Alsaidi's partner (name unknown at this time) was arrested on the scene for selling loose cigarettes. This is third such arrest at the store since December 2013.
The store is expected to stay closed.
City officials told Talk of the Sound that anyone entering the premises will be arrested. The building owner tells Talk of the Sound that eviction proceedings were initiated yesterday and that one way or the other the store will never re-open.
Dozens of smokers walked up the door, pressed their nose to the glass and reacted with shock to the Building Department Notice posted on the front door.
AlSaidi has been nothing but trouble since coming to New Rochelle two years ago. His store may have been connscted to a 2013 stabbing of two Monroe College students, a second store he sought to open was destroyed in a massive fire at 52 Drake Avenue, there was a shooting two doors down from the store.
Business owners in the area were pleased with the news and hopeful the store is gone for good.
Abbas al-Saidi was a key witness in the Liberty City Seven trials in Miami, Florida, a case where seven members of a small religious cult operating out of Miami were arrested and charged with various terrorism-related offenses in 2006 including an alleged plot to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago, Illinois.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Talk of the Sound has requested police and building department records and will update the story with details here as soon as we have them.