La Perla manager arrested following East End Drug Task Force sting

Following an East End Drug Task Force sting, police made three arrests related to cocaine sales they allege occurred within the La Perla Restaurant and Bar in downtown Riverhead.

According to a Riverhead Town Police Department press release, members of the agency, the East End Drug Task Force and Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney’s office executed a search warrant at La Perla Restaurant and Bar, located at 65 East Main Street at approximately 8 p.m. on Feb. 29. Police said they coordinated a six-month undercover narcotics investigation after receiving “community complaints of illegal drug activity within the restaurant.” Officers arrested Christopher Contreras, 33, of Coram, on three counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a Class B felony, for cocaine sales that occurred within La Perla Restaurant Bar. James Wicks, 32, a Bohemia resident, was also arrested and charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a Class B felony, related to cocaine sales within the restaurant.

Police additionally announced that on April 4, La Perla manager Eliseo Quintanilla, 43, of Manorville, was arrested and charged with second-degree criminal nuisance for maintaining a premises where persons gather to engage in unlawful conduct, a Class B misdemeanor.

“I am very happy that the investment of resources in the East End Drug Task Force is paying off with successful investigations,” Mr. Tierney said. “I would like to thank the Riverhead Police Department and all our other law enforcement partners for their hard work.”

When asked about the three arrests, La Perla owner Gabriela Montoya said Mr. Contreras and Mr. Wicks are not employed at her establishment, and that she does not know them. Regarding the arrest of Mr. Quintanilla, Ms. Montoya said “I don’t know about his arrest … I go into the restaurant, I don’t see anything wrong in there.

“I haven’t heard from him in two weeks,” she added of the restaurant manager. “He just works there part-time.”

Riverhead News-Review attempted to reach Mr. Quintanilla by phone.

Police said the New York State Liquor Authority was also present while police executed the search warrant and “will address possible violations of Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.”

The investigation is ongoing and any persons with additional information are urged to contact the Riverhead Police Department 631-727-4500 x 312 all calls will be kept confidential.

This is a developing story. Please check back with Riverhead News-Review for updates.