Thursday, a massive drug sweep which was orchestrated by several local police forces, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, and the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, in the neighborhoods in Darby Borough, Chester City, West Philadelphia, and Sharon Hill ended with the arrests of over 100 suspects. There were about 180 officers and investigators who assembled before dawn who then set off to stop the flow of drugs such as heroin, crack, cocaine and methamphetamine to the communities where residents have been asking for help to turn the tide of against these purveyors of death.
The massive drug busts were accomplished after the culmination of a six-month investigation, where undercover agents bought and saw sales of the illegal drugs. The investigation focused on the street dealers and not the major suppliers. According to Fox 29, Darby Borough Police Chief Robert Smythe said that undercover officers bought as many as 2,000 bags of heroin since November. Many of the bags of heroin which were recovered were labeled “Purple Rain” and” Back to the Future.”
In an afternoon press conference, Smythe said that, “This today is sending a message to Darby Borough.” Continuing Smythe went on to say that “we’re not going to tolerate drug sales on our corners.” Smythe also said that, “What they probably should be charged with is some sort of homicide or unnatural death because they’re killing our population, from our young, if you look at the pictures here, to the middle age, to our older people and it crosses all cultures and all colors.”
Also at the press conference, Jack Whelan, Delaware County district attorney remarked that, “We are going to prosecute these individuals. We’re going to make sure if they need rehabilitation that they get it through the criminal justice system”, and that ““But most importantly, they’re going to be punished for what they’ve done.” Whelan also said “Even if you’re a first time offender, selling drugs is a felony and you’re going to jail.” With Smythe adding that, “We’re going to keep coming after you, and if you think you have a big gang, my gang is bigger than your gang.” Smythe also said that the police will work closely with the DA’s office to make sure they were building as strong a case as they could before they started making arrests.
In the end, a total of 110 arrest warrants were served as police started their Spring Cleaning Thursday morning. In the end, there were over 100 people arrested and the police ended up seizing more than $48,000 worth of drugs. Also seized were two handguns and an assault rifle.