By David Madden
CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Twenty-two people have ben charged in a sweeping drug raid centering on one troubled street in the Whitman Park section of Camden.
Sixteen of those were arrested this morning; two others were already in custody. The remaining four were being sought as of midday today.
According to authorities, two gangs teamed up to turn several blocks of Sheridan Street in Camden into an open-air drug market, specializing in crack cocaine and heroin.
But US attorney Paul Fishman says the collaboration went further than the norm.
“Not only were the defendants doing business together and with each other, but many of them actually are relatives, making this a true family affair,” Fishman (at lectern in photo) says.
Six of the defendants have been arrested before, but what could make the difference here is that federal charges are being filed, which carry far harsher penalties: a minimum ten-year prison term on those convicted in court.
This operation allegedly spread to other sections of Camden and into Gloucester City, Lindenwold, and Sicklerville.