JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Federal authorities in New Jersey have accused a pharmacist from New York City of assembling equipment for an illegal drug lab.
Jordan Gonzalez, 33, made a series of purchases through an online auction website of materials associated with the hallucinogen known as MDA, authorities said.
The purchases included chemicals, flasks and empty gel caps, prosecutors said.
Authorities on Thursday were conducting searches in Jersey City, where Gonzalez used to live, and in Washington Heights.
As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, FBI agents raided the Jersey City home with their guns drawn Thursday as they executed their search warrant.
A helicopter also circled overhead, 1010 WINS’ Eileen Lehpamer reported.
“There’s always strange people walking around,” neighbor Lissette Difeo told Sloan.
“I went to get my medication and I see all this. I thought they were filming a movie or something,” Elaine Rivera said.
Feds also raided a U-Haul facility on Rt. 1 & 9, sources told CBS 2.
Footage from the scene showed a large police presence including agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Sources told Sloan that several buildings on Bleecker Street had to be evacuated because some of the chemicals could be used in bomb making.
“It’s been cold. We’ve been out here since this morning, early this morning,” Frankie Lopez, Sr. said.
“In the morning when I came out of school my mom said that they wouldn’t let us past,” Frankie Lopez, Jr. added.
Children at a private daycare across the street were also moved out and into another school.
While police say there was never any fear of an explosion, the massive scene left many parents on edge.
“I didn’t know what to think, what was going on,” Juliana Mediana told Sloan.
Gonzalez is charged with attempting to manufacture MDA and possessing chemicals and materials to manufacture a controlled substance.
Investigators say they caught Gonzalez through the online auction site.
He is due in court on Friday.
If convicted, Gonzalez could face more than 20 years behind bars and a fine up to $1 million.
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