PHILADELPHIA - Fourteen people have been arrested in what authorities called their largest operation to date combating the opioid epidemic in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood.
State and city officials announced the arrests in a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
The arrests stemmed from a three-month wiretap investigation into a suspected drug distribution ring that resulted in the seizure of six kilos of heroin and fentanyl, two kilos of cocaine, six guns and $200,000 in cash.
Proseuctors say the heroin and fentanyl seized amount to 198,000 doses of the drugs.
As part of the multi-agency operation, a 250-member law enforcement team executed 20 search warrants on homes, warehouses and vehicles connected to the alleged drug ring on Tuesday.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro called those arrested “masterminds in contaminating our communities,” accusing suspects of coercing school-age children and teenagers into joining the drug distribution network.
"While the ringleaders were jetting off to award shows and expensive restaurants, they were also ravaging the lives of those in our community," Shapiro said.
Those arrested include Brendan Perez, Jonathan Ramos, Jay Ramos Rosa, Jeffrey Canales Tapia, Jose Fuentes, Richard Brangen, Edgar Perez, Juan Franco Estrada, Victor Lopez, Giavonna Peterson, Luis Arroyo Galarza, Jerry Arroyo, Marin Duran and Victor Morales.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.