Philadelphia, May 30, 2012: The District Attorney’s Dangerous Drug Offenders Unit has dismantled a major drug ring that has been trafficking cocaine from Manhattan and the Bronx into Philadelphia. Seventeen people have been arrested including a husband and wife team from Puerto Rico, as a result of a three month investigation that included using wiretaps. The DA’s office began this investigation in February after receiving a tip from a confidential informant that garages and auto body shops across the city were equipping vehicles with special compartments to traffic drugs. Those vehicles would then travel to New York, pick up shipments of cocaine, and then travel back to Philadelphia.
28 kilos of cocaine with a street value of close to 3 (m) million dollars, 300 thousand dollars in cash, 16 vehicles, 11 properties and 5 guns have been seized as a result of this operation. This cocaine pipeline between New York and 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, members of the DEA in Philadelphia and New York, and members of the Philadelphia, Bensalem, Cheltenham, Bristol, Middletown, and Abington police departments.
This operation is a direct result of the September 2011 arrests made by the DA’s Dangerous Drug Offender’s Unit involving members of the Sinaloa drug cartel out of Mexico. The Sinaloa Cartel, which operates from Sinaloa and Juarez Mexico, is one of the largest and most powerful drug cartels in the world. One of the defendants arrested in that operation became an informant in this case, and led investigators to a garage on the 3000 block of Martha Street. Information from that garage resulted in the identification of other garages and body shops involved in this drug ring.
“Back in September we announced that we had effectively cut off the head of a dangerous and deadly monster before it ever had a chance of poisoning our streets,” says District Attorney Seth Williams. “Now thanks to those arrests not only did we stop the Sinaloa Cartel from becoming a viable operation in Philadelphia, we have also shut down another drug ring that was trying to destroy our city.”