District of Columbia vice squad detectives recovered a large cache of Preludin pills, cash and a small arsenal of handguns and rifles in a raid on the Success Cafe at 1357 U St. NW., late Friday night.
The cafe manager and another person were arrested and charged with possession of Preludin -- known on the streets as "Bam" -- with the intent to distribute. Four others who were arrested had their charges dropped yesterday in D.C. Superior Court.
Preludin, pink weight-controll pills, are available by prescription but they have been widely misused by drug users to boost their highs from heroin. It is sold for about $10 a pill on the street.
Police said they obtained a search warrant for the cafe after an informant gave them information about drug activity there.
The cafe has been the location of several drug raids by 3rd District vice squad detectives as part of the 14th Street crackdown on drug trafficking, according to several narcotics detectives.
Det. Alan R. Penberg said some buyers were wholesalers who bought large quantities for prices lower than the $10-a-pill rate on the streets.
About a dozen people were in the cafe at 8 p.m. when a team of 10 detectives calmly walked into the cafe and produced a search warrant.
Police said they seized nearly 1,100 pills. They said they found them behind the bar and in a briefcase in the storage room of the cafe.
Police recovered six rifles and two handguns -- a .35-caliber revolver and a .357-revolver -- from behind the bar.
The search also produced about $3,500 in cash.
Arrested were Leon Thomas, 40, who, according to court documents, is the cafe manager, and Emmanuel Durant, 30, of 4612 15th St. NW., who, according to court documents, is a self-employed photographer.
Thomas, who lives at 4015 Kansas Ave. NW, and Durant were ordered held on $10,000 bond each.
The Success Cafe is within 200 yards of the spot where D.C. police officer Arthur Snyder was slain by a drug pusher during an attempted arrest. The suspected killer, Bruce Wazon Griffith, later died in a shoot out with police following one of the most intensive manhunts in the city's history. w