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  • Guns and Drugs Found in Bust at Crown Heights ALIYA Center

    After receiving an anonymous tip by phone at about 3 p.m., police from the 71st Precinct searched the ALIYA Institute in Crown Heights, finding an AR-15 rifle, a BB gun, an air rifle and ammunition in addition to a bag of acid, mushrooms, hallucinogenic pills and marijuana, police said ● Police arrested 28-year-old Aaron Akaberi, who had been staying at the youth center ● Full Story

    By Rachel Holliday Smith / DNAinfo New York

    Police uncovered a stash of guns and drugs during a bust at a Crown Heights Jewish youth center Tuesday, officials said.

    After receiving an anonymous tip by phone at about 3 p.m., police from the 71st Precinct searched the ALIYA Institute at 527 East New York Ave. at Brooklyn Avenue, finding an AR-15 rifle, a BB gun, an air rifle and ammunition in addition to a bag of acid, mushrooms, hallucinogenic pills and marijuana, police said.

    Police arrested 28-year-old Aaron Akaberi, who had been staying at the youth center, police said. Akaberi had rented out a small storage space there, officials said, which is where the contraband was found.

    Police also recovered a safe during the search, but were waiting for a warrant to open it.

    The charges against Akaberi were not immediately clear. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office did not immediately respond to an inquiry Wednesday.

    ALIYA has been open in Crown Heights since 2003, with a mission of “serving spiritual, physical, educational, emotional and vocational needs of young adults in the Crown Heights community,” according to its website.

    Police said leaders of the organization have been fully cooperative in the investigation of Akaberi.

    An inquiry to the group was not immediately returned Wednesday.

    This is not the first time ALIYA has had a run-in with law enforcement. In 2012, the group received media attention after an officer from the 71st Precinct was caught on tape beating an unarmed youth, Ehud Halevy, who had been staying there.

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