Once they had uncovered the hidden grow operation, police say the 2,500-square-foot, LED lighting-equipped space could have fit thousands of marijuana plants at a time, with hundreds of pounds of pre-packaged product suggesting that Mondella had done just that. By the time the Red Hook indoor farm was discovered, legal marijuana sales had already begun in Colorado, offering a look at just how differently Mondella’s life might have ended up if New York State were quicker to legalize or reform its drug policies.
After Mondella’s death, investigators largely dropped their investigation into the expansive underground garden. Thompson charged the company with “criminal possession of marijuana in the first degree, a felony, and with failing to comply with laws relating to wastewater dumping, a misdemeanor,” to which Dell’s plead guilty on both charges, paid the requisite $1.2 million fine, and moved on with business.
In the wake of the unsuspected discovery and death at Dell’s Maraschino Cherries Company, Mondella’s daughters, Dana and Dominique, have taken over the family business, expanding the size and amount of cherries offered, streamlining new forms of production, and continuing their father’s generosity and compassion towards the local neighborhood. “
The NYPD still hasn’t arrested or charged anyone connected with Mondella’s ganja grow, suggesting the Brooklyn cherry boss translated his autodidact attitude into all of his business endeavors, both sticky and sweet.