The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office announced the dismantling of a major drug ring from New York City to Philadelphia. The office began investigating the drug ring back in February.
Investigators say they received a tip from a confidential informant that garages and auto body shops across the city were equipping vehicles with special compartments to traffic drugs. Police say those vehicles were picking up cocaine shipments in Manhattan and the Bronx and then traveling back to Philadelphia (i.e. Drug Ring).
The three month investigation, which included the use of wiretaps, culminated in the arrest of 17 people, including a husband and wife team from Puerto Rico. Investigators say they also seized 28 kilos of cocaine with a street value close to $3 million, $300,000 in cash, 16 vehicles, 11 properties and five guns. Authorities are crediting the Dangerous Drug Offenders Unit, DEA members in Philadelphia and New York, and members of the Philadelphia, Bensalem, Cheltenham, Bristol, Middletown and Abington police departments with helping to shut down the operation.
Officials also say the investigation was a direct result of the September 2011 arrests of members of the Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico. The Sinaloa Cartel operates from Sinaloa and Juarez, Mexico. It’s known as one of the largest and most powerful drug cartels in the world. Officials say one of the suspects arrested in that operation became an informant in the latest case and initially led investigators to one of the garages equipping the transport vehicles. The information from that garage resulted in the identification of other garages and body shops involved in the 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,” said 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.”
Sidenote: This Drug Ring and police bust reminds me of something from the HBO series The Wire. Crazy thing is, I just got finished watching Season 5 of The Wire an hour before this Drug Ring news came out.
© 2012, Brandon Wyche. All rights reserved.