Approximately five pounds of heroin and fentanyl were seized, along with 1.6 ounces of methamphetamine, three assault rifles, and $179,000 in cash in the takedown of a major Philadelphia drug ring, authorities said.
A father and son duo was among 23 people arrested as local, state, and federal law officers served more than 40 search warrants on affiliated properties and vehicles on Wednesday, June 8, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.
The ringleaders were identified as Curtis Coates, Sr., and his son Curtis Coates, Jr., Shapiro said.
Coates Jr. collected the money for his dad, who charged dealers up to $3,000 per block to sell drugs on about 12 Kensington neighborhood corners, the AG said. He added that the pair brought in around $30,000 a week.
“Coates and his son stole public city block corners and rented them for profit to drug dealers,” Shapiro said. “These are corners children wait for buses on, corners you cross to get to work. And they stole them and rented them for top dollar to bring poison and violence into these neighborhoods. Through this operation, we’ve taken back these corners stolen from this community.”
The 23 arrestees, including Coates Sr. and his son Coates Jr., have been charged with the following:
- Possession with intent to distribute
- Corrupt Organizations
- Dealing in Illegal proceeds
- Criminal Use of Communications Facility
Eight of those individuals received additional charges for persons not to possess a firearm, authorities said.
Shapiro says this case was the "largest one-day coordinated operation since the Kensington Initiative’s launch,” in 2018.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Melissa Francis.
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