READING, Pa. - Authorities have announced charges against 10 people in what they allege was a violent drug trafficking organization responsible for slayings and kidnappings in Reading, including a quadruple murder last year.
FOX 29's Jeff Cole reports that on South 6th Street, just blocks from Reading’s Courthouse, residents say they fear the drug trade and the violence it brings.
"Concerned for everybody's safety in the area, not just mine, everybody," Reading resident Robert Bellairs said.
Many in this Berks County city of 88,000 remember the Jan. 2018 quadruple killing in a South 3rd Street row home. Now, federal and state prosecutors say the victims were killed by a violent drug gang that brought mayhem to Reading’s streets.
"This was the most violent drug trafficking organization that this city or county has ever investigated," Berks County District Attorney John Adams said at a Monday press conference.
They’re known as “Trinidad” or the "Feliciano-Trinidad Drug Trafficking Gang" for Jesus Feliciano-Trinidad, who is the 29-year-old alleged leader.
Feliciano-Trinidad and nine others were indicted Monday for what investigators say were six homicides in six weeks in Reading, and the distribution of heroin, fentanyl and crack.
"Any organization that can be responsible for such depravity must be destroyed," U.S. Attorney William McSwain said.
The gang is alleged to have terrorized Reading neighborhoods in 2017 and 2018. Six of the 10 were named and held in an earlier indictment.
The DA says the Trinidad Gang “overwhelmed” local law enforcement.
"Numerous acts of senseless violence disrupted the streets of our city during the time they were active, very active," Adams said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.