By David Madden
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Authorities have busted a big time cocaine trafficking ring that operated out of a North Philadelphia warehouse.
A half dozen men are in custody, two from New York and one each from Philadelphia, Allentown, central Florida and Puerto Rico. They’re facing charges stemming from the discovery of 238 kilos of cocaine, worth 23 million dollars on street.
A North Philly traffic stop Monday led them to a warehouse at 2nd and Cambria where most of the contraband was found.
“We are targeting these drug trafficking organizations who are bringing large amounts of poison into our streets and distributing onto the streets of Philadelphia.,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane told KYW Newsradio.
It’s thought these drugs came through the Port of Philadelphia from as far away as Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, although they may have originated in Columbia.
The raid, following a month long investigation, involved local, state and federal authorities.
Brian Michael, director of the local branch of Homeland Security Investigations, said “Our message to the drug trafficking organizations is this. Philadelphia’s International Airports and seaports are open for business, but not their business.”
Although officials concede it’s likely some other group will step in to fill the void left by the raids.
The six men are facing charges of drug possession, manufacturing of a controlled substance, conspiracy and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity.
Kane was questioned briefly about her plans for next week, when she is set to go on trial in Montgomery County on perjury charges. She declined to answer all questions on anything except the drug raid.