Philadelphia, September 15, 2011: A direct pipeline from one of the World’s largest drug cartels into Philadelphia has been shut down thanks to a joint effort between the Dangerous Drug Offenders Unit of the Special Operations Division of the District Attorney’s Office, and members of the DEA in Philadelphia and El Paso, Texas and the FBI. Several arrests were made in Northeast Philadelphia on Thursday, September 8, 2011 after a five month investigation, which included wiretaps.
This operation began when members of the DA’s Dangerous Drug Offender’s Unit discovered a direct link between several local street corner level dealers and the Sinaloa Cartel, which operates from Sinaloa and Juarez Mexico, and is one of the largest and most powerful drug cartels in the world.
Through intercepted conversations, investigators were able to determine that members of the Sinaloa Cartel were negotiating with a Philadelphia drug trafficking origination to become the exclusive distributor of the cartel’s heroin, cocaine and marijuana product throughout the city and the surrounding region.
The members of the cartel proposed an initial delivery of 10 kilos of cocaine with a street value of approximately $35,000 a kilo. That delivery would have been followed by bi-weekly deliveries of similar shipments to establish a relationship between the two groups. Once that relationship was established, and enough trust had been developed, the plan was to increase the deliveries to 100-200 kilos at a time.
Investigators in the Dangerous Drug Offenders Unit and their counterparts from the DEA and the FBI successfully were able to intercept the very first shipment of cocaine. “These agents effectively cut off the head of this dangerous and deadly monster before it ever had a chance of poisoning our streets,” says District Attorney Seth Williams. “There is no question in my mind that if the cartel was able to develop a relationship with drug traffickers in Philadelphia there would have been drugs from this cartel infecting our city for years to come.”
Along with the 10 kilos of cocaine, several weapons, computers, houses and cash were seized. Numerous arrests were made both here and in Texas, including the arrest of the Sinaloa Cartel’s distributor. Due to the serious threat of retaliation and fear for the safety of the defendants the DA’s office is not releasing any names at this time.
“These arrests have struck a serious blow to the Sinaloa Cartel’s efforts to establish a distribution center here in Philadelphia,” continues Mr. Williams. “This group has become notorious for acts of violence and intimidation of law enforcement personnel and civilians in Mexico, so the impact of the success of this operation on the drug trade in Philadelphia is immeasurable.”