An extensive Kensington-based drug trafficking organization has been dismantled with the arrests of 57 people, District Attorney Larry Krasner said Thursday.
The arrests, targeting what is widely considered the geographic epicenter of Philadelphia's drug crisis, were for the sale of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, crack, and other drugs, Krasner said at a news conference at his Penn Square office. The arrests include street-level dealers and leaders of the enterprise, called the Alameda Drug Trafficking Organization.
Sixteen Alameda properties were targeted, Krasner said, and authorities confiscated about 4.5 pounds of cocaine, nearly 2.5 pounds of crack cocaine, and more than 8 pounds of heroin. In addition, investigators seized more than $285,600 in cash, 15 vehicles, and eight firearms, Krasner said.
The Alameda organization's daily take was about $15,000, making its annual take about $5.5 million, said Ben Waxman, Krasner's spokesperson.
The three key leaders of the organization — identified as German "June" Alameda, 46; Jeremiah "Chino" Figueroa, 42; and Orlando "Oskie" Moran, 28 — will face nearly 689 criminal charges, including running a corrupt organization, possession with intent to deliver heroin/fentanyl, and possession of an illegal firearm.
Krasner said the probe was led by detectives and staff from his office's Dangerous Drug Offenders Unit, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program, the Chester County District Attorney's Office, Delaware County detectives, and the Pennsylvania State Police.
"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 $5 million a year from the pain and misery that comes from drug and opioid addiction," he said.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said the bust assures that "many dangerous individuals will no longer be able to inflict harm upon the residents of our great city."
Between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018, within a four-block radius of Kip and Cambria, Krasner said, Philadelphia police made more than 700 arrests, 100 of which resulted in felony charges, and received over 300 hospital cases, about 75 percent relating to drug overdoses. Census data show the majority of residents in that neighborhood fall below the poverty line, he said in a news release.
Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, whose Seventh District includes Kensington, said she was "so grateful to our law enforcement partners for the stunning success of this multi-agency effort. We work constantly to relieve our residents and neighborhoods of the stress, fear, and violence brought on and worsened by the opioid crisis."
The city's top law enforcement officer, in his first year in office, pointed to the results of this investigation as an indication that his new system is working.
"We came in, and our DA directed our detectives as well as our ADAs who are in our Dangerous Drug Offenders Unit, essentially saying, 'Hey, I want to go after the big fish,' " Waxman said.
In 2005, Alameda was convicted of receiving stolen property; the other two alleged leaders of the organization have no prior convictions.
Staff writer Mark Fazlollah contributed to this article.