57 arrested in major Kensington drug trafficking operation

Philadelphia officials have announced the arrests of more than 57 people for the alleged sales of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, and other drugs in the Kensington section of the city.

District Attorney Larry Krasner announced the arrests at a press conference on Thursday morning, explaining that the arrests included both street-level dealers and individuals who controlled the enterprise known as the Alameda Drug Trafficking Organization.

The DA says the investigation centered at Kip and Cambria Streets in Kensington, one of the ":most dangerous and impoverished areas" of the city. Krasner cites the activity of the Alameda Drug Trafficking Organization as a contributing factor in the issues that have plagued that part of the city.

"This multi-month criminal investigation centered on the intersection of Kip and Cambria Streets in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, the hub of this criminal enterprise that was not only a threat to public safety, but an entity that created revenue to the tune of more than five million dollars a year from the pain and misery that comes from drug and opioid addiction," said Krasner.

35 alleged offenders are currently in custody, while warrants have been issued for 22 lower level offenders.

Between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018, the Philadelphia Police Department made over 700 arrests, 100 resulted in felony charges, and received over 300 hospital cases, about 75 percent were related to drug overdoses, within a four-block radius of Kip and Cambria Streets.

According to the District Attorney's office, census data of that area shows that the majority of residents living there fall below the poverty line.

The three key leaders of the Alameda DTO will face nearly 689 criminal charges including running a corrupt organization, possession with intent to deliver heroin/fentanyl, and possession of an illegal firearm. Officials say there are no drug-induced homicide charges in this case.

"We are privileged to have worked with our law enforcement partners in the investigation and attendant arrests of members of the Alameda Drug Trafficking Organization. With these arrests, and the anticipated successful prosecutions, many dangerous individuals will no longer be able to inflict harm upon the residents of our great city," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross.

Sixteen Alameda DTO properties were targeted in the investigation. Over the lifetime of the investigation law enforcement has confiscated 1.957 kg of cocaine, 1.125 kg crack-cocaine, and 3.75 kg of heroin.