By Mark Abrams
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A multimillion-dollar cocaine distribution ring that operated between New York and Philadelphia has been broken up with the arrest of more than a dozen people, the seizure of several kilos of cocaine, and the confiscation of cash, cars, and guns.
Authorities say the distribution ring sent couriers via the New Jersey Turnpike from New York to Philadelphia, to bring the cocaine by car or SUV in secret, specially installed compartments to points in Northeast Philadelphia and elsewhere.
“This investigation has resulted in 17 arrests (and) the seizure of 28 kilos of cocaine which conservatively has a street value in the city of Philadelphia of $2.8 million,” said Philadelphia district attorney Seth Williams.
Williams (right) says investigators also seized $300,000 in cash; 16 vehicles including a high-end Corvette, a Cadillac Escalade, and a Lexus; five handguns, and 11 properties.
Officials say investigators set up electronic surveillance of the ring and tracked two major shipments to Philadelphia — one involving 10 kilos of cocaine on May 13th and the other, 18 kilos, on May 20th.
Those couriers, who were stopped when they got close to Philadelphia, also were arrested.