PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia man has been convicted on several charges for his role as a drug boss in Kensington. Ricardo Carrion, A.K.A. “PR,” was convicted at trial for intent to distribute crack and heroin, and other charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced on Friday.
Carrion, 44, was convicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possession with intent to distribute crack and heroin, which arose from his leadership role in supplying a drug trafficking organization operating in Kensington.READ MORE: 6 Dead, 30 Wounded In Shooting At Chicago-Area July 4 Parade; Person Of Interest In Custody: Police
“This years-long drug trafficking enterprise impacted more than just this one block; it left a path of destruction across Kensington and throughout Philadelphia,” Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said in a release. “This trial conviction is one more example of this Office’s dedicated effort to take down prolific drug dealers pedaling poison to those suffering from addiction, and we remain committed to cutting off the supply of deadly drugs into our communities.”
The case originated from a joint investigation of drug trafficking and overdose in the Kensington area by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Philadelphia Police department.
During the investigation, the agencies used covert surveillance to observe thousands of people purchasing narcotics on the 3100 block of Weymouth Street in Kensington, according to the release.READ MORE: Fourth Of July Parade, Concert, And Fireworks Take Over Philadelphia
Officials observed street dealers using stash houses on the street to store narcotics, including the drug crew’s signature stamped heroin called “Funeral,” which was named after its potency.
In 2019, a series of search warrants were executed and the DEA discovered that Carrion was the supplier of narcotics in the organization. Covert surveillance showed him carrying large trash bags into stash houses several times.
Later in June of 2019, the DEA and Philly Police initiated a traffic stop where Carrion was the sole passenger. In that cab, officials found more than 3,300 containers of crack cocaine in a bag. Evidence presented during the trial also showed he used code words while discussing heroin with street dealers, according to the release.
Officials say Carrion supplied “thousands upon thousands” of servings of heroin and crack cocaine to the block of 3100 Weymouth Street from 2018 until the DEA and Philly Police halted his operation.MORE NEWS: For Some, Fourth Of July Traditions Down Jersey Shore Date Back To 1960's
“No area in Pennsylvania has been more disproportionately affected by the ravages of the opioid epidemic than Kensington, particularly the area around McPherson Square where Carrion supplied and distributed heroin and crack cocaine,” Thomas Hodnett, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division, said in a release. “Carrion’s criminal activities ruined the quality of life for the residents who live in Kensington and destroyed the lives of those struggling with substance use disorder. His federal drug conviction will ensure that he serves a lengthy prison sentence for his drug-trafficking activities.”