NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Nine months after its grand opening, the new Berkley Supermarket has a king-sized problem. It all started last Wednesday, when the store received what it initially thought was routine delivery.

“Negative news travels fast. I mean it gets out like wildfire,” said Pee Wee Thompson, unofficial Mayor of Berkley.

That’s what has happened at the Berkley Supermarket. A truck delivered a large package that was the size of two wardrobe boxes.

“This box has our address on it and it says ‘Berkley’ on it; the trucking company called to say they sent it to the wrong address and they are going to pick it up,” Owner Mike Palmer said.

Minutes later, Palmer says two men entered the store to inquire about the package. Those men were caught on the store surveillance video and later identified by police as Lichuang Dai and Jianfeng Ma, both 32.

“Few minutes later the cops came. I think there was some guy who came to pick up the package. The police arrest them and the next thing I know there is marijuana inside,” said Palmer.

It was a lot of marijuana, more than 200 pounds, with a street value of a million dollars.

Both men were arrested and are in Norfolk City Jail without bond.

Unfortunately, said Palmer, that’s where the coverage ended. “They are not employees of Berkley Supermarket; they don’t work here, they are not associated with anyone in this building.”

Days later, Norfolk Police issued an amended news release stating just that. 

It appears that this location was being used as a drop-off by Dai and Ma to receive the package from the courier unbeknownst to the staff at the supermarket.

Norfolk Police

The unofficial mayor of Berkley wants the public to know the reputation of this Black business matters. “We use the slogan ‘we take care of our own.’ Without it, we would just be in a food desert.