BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — Bridgeport police have arrested nine people in a months-long drug operation for the illegal sale of narcotics and alcohol at a popular Bridgeport lounge.

The investigation began in May 2022, when the Bridgeport Police Department Narcotics and Vice Division began an investigation into illegal activity at the Off Da Hookah lounge on Knowlton Street.

Officers said that in October, police obtained search warrants for the lounge as well as vehicles associated with the establishment. The warrant was served on Sunday at approximately 3 a.m. according to police.

Once at the scene, officers said they observed a large number of people both inside the lounge and outside wearing security uniforms, tactical vests, and handling firearms. Police detained several of the people there including security guards, customers, owners, and employees.

Overall, Bridgeport police said they were able to arrest nine people from this bust. The following people were arrested as a result of the search warrant:

  • Darius Luckes, 24, of Bridgeport was charged with two counts of illegal possession of a high-capacity magazine and being an armed private security person without a license.
  • Teofilo Nivar, 45, was charged with criminal possession of a firearm and illegal sales of alcohol in a club/organization.
  • Raul Torres-Santiago, 51, of New Haven was charged with criminal possession of a firearm, two counts of illegal possession of a high-capacity magazine, being an armed private security person without a license, carrying a dangerous weapon, and stealing a firearm.
  • Romie Saunder, 31, of Naugatuck was charged with being an armed private security person without a license and violating a security service license requirement.
  • Mario Jesus Cruz, 34, of Terryville was charged with the illegal sale of alcohol in a club/organization and employing an unlicensed security officer.
  • Ramon Bonaparte, 37, of Bridgeport was charged with the illegal sale of alcohol in a club/organization and employing an unlicensed security officer.
  • Angione Collin, 38, was issued a misdemeanor for violating private detective and security services.
  • Marguerita Cora, 39, from New Haven was issued a misdemeanor for violating private detective and security services.
  • Usiel A. Frias-Brito, 24, from Bridgeport was charged with being an armed security person without a license.

In addition to the firearms, several bottles of alcohol, over $3,500 in cash, and one 9mm semi-automatic ghost gun with a laser and high-capacity magazine were seized as a result of this investigation, according to police.