By Alex Lloyd Gross
The Kensington Initiative to rid the areas of Philadelphia of open air drug markets are progressing slowly but steady. Just today Attorney General Josh Shapiro held a press event at Harrowgate Square to talk about 14 dealers and participants in the drug trade that were arrested during early morning raids Previous arrests centered around Argyle Street. “Since we were there, that area is clean, children can come out to play it can be a neighborhood again,” said Shapiro. He is hopeful that today which centered around Clementine Street will have the same result.
“Today I saw children watching their parents getting arrested, who saw scales and drugs at the kitchen table that they should have been doing homework on,” Shapiro further stated. The raids today resulted in 14 individuals taken into custody and seized 6 kilos of heroin/fentanyl, 2 kilos of cocaine, 5 handguns, one rifle, $200,000 in cash, a kilo press, scales, and packaging equipment in the largest Kensington Initiative operation to date. Today’s law enforcement action is the result of a three-month wiretap investigation into a drug trafficking organization in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Throughout the investigation, agents prevented three shootings over the course of just a few weeks..
When asked about the shootings Shapiro said that it was through “intelligence we gathered” without getting into specifics. Some of the drugs made their way into Lower Bucks County but no specifics were offered. “This is more of a transport issue, no raids executed in Bucks County, today, said Georgia Barker, from the Attorney General’s Office. They did have raids as far away as Allentown, which were related to this effort.