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Griffith restaurant owner pleads not guilty to charges after cocaine found in customer's cheese stick order

Griffith restaurant owner pleads not guilty to charges after cocaine found in customer's cheese stick order


CROWN POINT — A not guilty plea was entered Friday for Carrie L. Demoff, the owner of Broad Street Gyros accused of putting a bag of cocaine into a customer's cheese stick order.

Demoff, 49, of Griffith, appeared with four other defendants Friday morning before Magistrate Judge Natalie Bokota. The defendants testified to their names, addresses and dates of birth before their charges were read.

Demoff said she understood her charges and a not guilty plea was entered on her behalf.

Demoff was charged Jan. 25 in Lake Criminal Court with attempted dealing in cocaine, possession of cocaine and maintaining a common nuisance after a customer of Broad Street Gyros, 105 Broad St., complained to police Nov. 21 she received a bag of cocaine in a cheese stick order, according to a probable cause affidavit.

A woman at the restaurant allegedly called the customer and asked her to return the order. When the customer refused, the woman asked for her address and said someone would come get the order.

The cocaine, which weighed 1.64 grams, was found in a plastic foam container in the customer's order, the affidavit states. A search warrant was executed at the restaurant, where police seized a surveillance system that contained footage allegedly showing Demoff placing the cocaine into the customer's order.

Demoff told police she “partied before while at work,” meaning used cocaine, the affidavit states.

She said two “younger” men came into the restaurant that day asking about their cheese stick order, and she realized the cheese sticks were placed in another carryout order. She said she tried to get the order returned, but the customer refused.

She became “hostile” when police asked why she did not just make a new order of cheese sticks for the men, the affidavit states. 

John Cantrell, a defense attorney for Demoff, said Friday his client maintains her innocence.

He claimed police illegally seized the surveillance system from the business next door to Broad Street Gyros, for which they did not have a warrant.

“I haven't seen all the evidence, so I don't know how (the cocaine) got in there, but I know my client didn't put it in there,” he said.

Demoff is scheduled to appear at a court hearing April 20.

Gallery: Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail


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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.

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