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Police Take Down $16M Heroin Ring Based In Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pennsylvania authorities announced a takedown today of what they described as a major heroin distribution ring that allegedly did business from Philadelphia to Harrisburg.

Acting state attorney general Bill Ryan described an operation that worked like a business.

“They were dedicated, they were experienced and they were smooth,” he said, and the operation quickly grew to more than a million dollars a month in sales.

Twelve men were charged Friday. Nine were arrested early that morning or had already been in custody on lesser charges. Three more remained at large.

Authorities said the group had about $16 million a year in sales in each of the last two years, selling drugs — largely heroin, but also some cocaine — mostly to lower-level dealers.

During recent raids, authorites recovered a couple of pounds of heroin, $62,000 in cash, an assault rifle, and ten cars, including two with hidden drug compartments.

Investigators said that the customers would call one cell phone number, which might be answered by various members of the alleged brain trust, within a half-hour before they wanted to pick up drugs.

One of suspects, Nestor Vega, would ask two quick questions:  “What you driving? What you need?” and get enough information to dispatch a runner to meet the customer in the customer’s car within minutes at a designated spot, according to authorities.

Investigators said the network usually stamped bags of heroin with “Black Widow,” a brand name. But when there were complaints about the quality of Black Widow, the name was changed to “Moon Dust,” Ryan said.

He said drugs supplied by the network were linked to at least two overdoes, including one that was fatal. That was in Bristol Township on January 7th, killing a 24-year-old drug user.

The investigation is continuing and authorities are trying to determine who supplied the drugs to the network, Ryan said.

Today, the nine suspects who had been arrested were moved from a South Philadelphia outpost of the state attorney general’s office to Bucks County, where they were to be tried. Authorities said two of the suspects were major street-level dealers there.

As one of them, Saviel “Javier” Mieses-Guzman was loaded onto a van with two other suspects, he saw reporters and cameras.  “Bye-bye,” he said. “Bye-bye.”

Authorities said he was the fourth-ranking member of the operation. They said the four top members were two sets of brothers, all citizens of the Dominican Republic who were in the country illegally.

Mieses-Guzman’s brother, Warner, was the alleged ringleader.

Authorities could not immediately identify the lawyers representing the suspects.

Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio and the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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  • ponyboy

    110,000 people die every year from prescription drugs.
    while we’re guarding the poppy fields in afghanistan


    80% of the drug addicts in America are addicted to prescription drugs, not street drugs. This is just an examle of the government trying to squash the competition so they can get everybody hooked on prescriptions instead. The USA is the largest pusher in the world. This government is just a bunch of racketeers. Police are footsoldiers and pawns in a nationwide mob.

  • Darlene

    it’s no wonder with our economy so bad & our south philly neighborhoods r thriving only if u r a illegal immigrant or legal immigrant because they r taking good care of each other & suckin our system dry while selling drugs to the people that r here at there witts end no jobs becuase there taking them all is it our fault that we won’t work 4 $5 a hour why not if u can get something & all u can from the system live 2-3 families per house u just need 1 legal the rest will thrive off them iimmmm iiii nnnooo english!!!!!!!!!!!bullllll they know exactly what they r doin it’s not all them but they r taking all our jobs aaaaaa direct impact on our economy ship aaallllllll illegals bbbbbbbaaaaaaaccccccckkkkkk wwwwwweeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeee ever they came from!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Nostromo

      This is exactly the reason Philly scares-off significant investment. Those luxurious buildings downtown may as well be gilded cages in the midst of a cesspool.

  • Alec

    Hmm, how man cops were arrested in the bust?

  • Carolyn

    I am so glad to hear that these perps were caught and will be brought to justice for their crimes. My only wish is that they would strengthen the penalties for selling drugs all together. Convictions for any crime should serve as a deterrent, not a slap on the wris!!!

  • Nostromo

    “…who were in the country illegally.”

    Enough said.

    In addition; a big Border Security corruption case breaks today.

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