Pizza Man Cocaine Delivery: How Did Papa John’s Employee Ramon Rodriguez Get Caught Selling Drugs?

By Philip Ross on May 17, 2013 1:42 PM EDT

pizza man cocaine delivery
A pizza delivery man for Papa John’s hid cocaine in pizza boxes to sell to customers. He was apprehended after he sold nearly $40,000 worth of cocaine to undercover cops. (Photo: Flickr/markguim)

Rarely do pizzas come topped with cocaine; but one pizza man cocaine delivery incident in Brooklyn, N.Y., proves that a pizza delivery man who also deals drugs is not unheard of.

NBC New York reports that authorities arrested Papa John's delivery man Ramon Rodriguez Wednesday for allegedly dealing more than $40,000 in cocaine, which he kept in pizza boxes, to undercover police officers over the course of a year and a half.

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The 45-year-old delivery man was charged Wednesday with multiple counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance and one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance. He met the officers either near his place of residence or near the Papa John's Fifth Avenue store in Sunset Park, a neighborhood in the southwestern part of New York's borough of Brooklyn.

Authorities have tracked Rodriguez's drug dealing business since the fall of 2011. According to prosecutors, Rodriguez allegedly sold cocaine to undercover cops 19 times since then, RTT News reports. Apparently, Rodriguez told the officers during their undercover operation that he wanted to get out of his Papa John's pizza delivery job to sell cocaine.

Rodriguez awaited arraignment late Thursday.

As if the pizza man cocaine delivery incident weren't enough, the restaurant chain made headlines back in 2012 when Papa John's CEO John Schnatter publicly disparaged the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare.  

Schnatter said he would have to raise the price of his pizza by 11 to 14 cents per pie in order to supplement the cost of health care for the company's employees. He also suggested cutting the work hours for Papa John's employees in order to bring them below the 30 hour per week threshold that would require the CEO to provide health care benefits to his workers.

According to Forbes, the public did not take Schnatter's comments lightly, and his pizza sales suffered as a result. When Obama was reelected last November, Papa John's popularity was high. Following Schnatter's Obamacare comments, however, the company's popularity nosedived.

From YouGov BrandIndex, a prominent marketing survey that measures brand perception in the marketplace:

Papa John's Buzz score high point for the month came on Election Day - November 6th - with a score of 32. Eight days later, the score had dropped 10 points down to 22, when the spam text lawsuit was unveiled. A few days later, Papa John's dropped below Pizza Hut's score and is presently at 4.

Read more from iScience Times:

Anti-Cocaine Vaccine May Be Cure For Addicts; How Does It Prevent The Drug From Reaching The Brain?

Fake Nuns Cocaine: 5 Other Bold Disguises In Drug Smuggling History

Drug Bust 100 Arrested: Connecticut Heroin, Cocaine Ring Stopped After 15-Month Investigation

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