Philadelphia, January 31, 2012: The District Attorney’s Office has arrested five people in connection with a (m) million dollar drug ring that was operating on Drexel University’s campus. Investigators believe LSD was being sold by the defendants for over a year before the DA’s office was able to break up this ring. The group was selling the drug for ten to thirty dollars a hit, and it’s estimated that defendants were clearing about five to fifteen thousand dollars a week during that time period.
In an overnight raid on the 4800 block of Florence Street conducted by the District Attorney’s Dangerous Drug Offender Unit, the DEA, and members of the Philadelphia Police Department’s 12th and 18th District, 9500 hits of LSD with a street value of approximately 28 thousand dollars and 10 thousand dollars in cash were found. This investigation began with the help of detectives from the Upper Moreland Police Department earlier this month. On January 18, 2012 Upper Moreland detectives notified our office that they had arrested a Drexel University student on marijuana and gun charges who was willing to provide information on a drug ring operating on the Drexel campus. That student then allowed District Attorney’s Detectives to record phone calls of his drug transactions. Those transactions included the sale of drugs to another Drexel student who was working as a supplier to the first student. The second student was subsequently arrested and also decided to cooperate with our office and he became an informant as well. Thanks to information and taped phone conversations from both of those students the District Attorney’s Office was able to arrest the masterminds of the drug ring early this morning.
33 year old Raphael Zappala of 50th Street in Philadelphia, 31 year old Joshua Dassay of Florence Street in Philadelphia, and 34 year old Wesley Crawford of Haverford Road in Ardmore were all arrested and charged with Delivery, Possession with Intent to Deliver, Conspiracy, Use of a Communication Device to Facilitate a Narcotics Transaction, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child (EWOC). The defendants are facing the EWOC charge because an infant was at the apartment during the time of the raid. Joshua Dassay is also wanted in 9 other states for other crimes.
“This is another example of excellent teamwork between the different members of law enforcement in the Commonwealth,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “There was a huge drug ring operating on Drexel’s campus and we were only able to identify and infiltrate it because of cooperation with the Upper Moreland Police Department, Drexel University, the Philadelphia Police Department, the DEA and members of our Drug Enforcement Unit. It is sad that this was taking place on a campus of higher learning, but I hope that the actions of a few do not tarnish the image of educational excellence that we associate with Drexel University.”