Philadelphia crack down nets 170 arrests, $225,000 in drugs

KENSINGTON -- The streets in one Philadelphia neighborhood are a little safer today.

Tuesday afternoon, police announced they wrapped up a three-day initiative in Kensington that focused on getting drugs off the streets. This comes after a series of deadly overdoses.

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The streets in one Philadelphia neighborhood are a little safer today.

The police Narcotics Unit proudly displayed the results of last week's sweep in the East Division, focusing mainly on the drug-infested Kensington Avenue neighborhood, where there's been a jump in related violence and overdoses.

Police made over 170 arrests in efforts to improve the quality of life in the rough section of town.

Over $225,000 worth of drugs - from heroin, powder cocaine and crack, to marijuana and OxyContin - were seized.

Philadelphia Police Inspector Melvin Singleton says, "As a result of investigations that led us to individual houses, individual corners, we locked in on certain drug dealers, drug organizations, and made arrests when we had enough probable cause to do so."

Captain Mike Cram of the 25th District says, "We have great community groups that are kind of trapped in those heroin markets. And when they see a big operation like this, it gives them hope. And that's what they need - they need hope down there. So it was successful from that end."

More than 20 guns were seized - many of them high-powered weapons - and thousands of dollars in cash from those dealers who are flushed with it.

Many of the solid residents in the district have seen these sweeps before, only to have the dope markets flourish anew. But hope springs eternal.

"All these drug sweeps is something they've been continuing to do for years and years. Things been going on," said resident Will Fowler.

When we asked Fowler if the sweeps have ever done any good, he said, "I suppose it does. Yes."

Police say 10 percent of the arrests were out of towners, meaning suburbanites.
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