DA announces high-level arrests in Kensington-based drug trafficking ring

The investigation was led by a partnership among detectives and staff from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office’s Dangerous Drug Offenders Unit and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office, Delaware County Detectives and Pennsylvania State Police.

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner speaks at a press conference announcing arrests made in a Kensington-based drug trafficking ring.

Thursday morning, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced the arrest of about 60 individuals for selling fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and other drugs in the Kensington section of the city. These arrests include not only street-level dealers but also individuals who controlled the enterprise, known as the Alameda Drug Trafficking Organization, at the highest levels.

The investigation was led by a partnership among detectives and staff from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office’s Dangerous Drug Offenders Unit and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office, Delaware County Detectives and Pennsylvania State Police.

According to Krasner, the Philadelphia Police Department estimates that the drug trafficking organization in question known as the Alameda organization generated $5 million per year in revenue through illegal drug sales.

“The investigation focused on building a case against the leadership of the Alameda drug trafficking organization as well as their key suppliers in both heroin and cocaine,” Krasner said at a news conference. “This investigation was…consistent with one of the philosophies of this administration, which is that traditional drug enforcement should not focus on the people at the bottom of the pyramid whose actions are basically driven by addiction. It should focus on people who are professional drug dealers who represent players in a drug organization. We should not be focusing on the tip of one tentacle. We should be going for the entire octopus.”

According to Krasner, the investigation focused on the intersection of Kip and Cambria streets, which he called “the hub of this criminal enterprise that was not only a threat to public safety, but an entity that created revenue to the tune of more than $5 million a year from the pain and misery that comes from drug and opioid addiction.”

This section of Kensington, as a direct result of the Alameda Drug Trafficking Organization, is one of the most dangerous and impoverished areas of the city. Between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018, the Philadelphia Police Department made over 700 arrests, 100 resulted in felony charges, and received over 300 hospital cases, about 75 percent that were related to drug overdoses, within a four-block radius of Kip and Cambria streets. Census data of that area shows that the majority of residents living there fall below the poverty line.

Sixteen Alameda DTO properties, as a result of the extensive investigation, were targeted; and over the lifetime of the investigation law enforcement has confiscated:

1.957 kg of cocaine;

1.125 kg crack-cocaine; and

3.75 kg of heroin.

The three key leaders of the Alameda DTO, German Alameda, Orlando Moran and Jeremiah Figueroa, will face nearly 689 criminal charges, including running a corrupt organization, possession with intent to deliver heroin/fentanyl and possession of an illegal firearm.

“I really want to thank the District Attorney’s office and the fine men and women of law enforcement,” said Philadelphia Councilwoman Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez. “Thank you for renewing our faith that smart policing, targeted investigations and collaboration can lead to this type of dismantling. Will this solve all the problem? Absolutely not, but we have to get buy-in from the community and this is a great first step in demonstrating to both that on behalf of the DA’s office and law enforcement, we’re up to the task.”