Seven men from Kensington, Fairhill, Hunting Park and North Philadelphia are each facing 17 drug and conspiracy charges after police, the DEA and the District Attorney's Dangerous Drug Offenders Unit busted them running a heroin distribution ring Tuesday.
The bust was a result of Attorney General Eric Holder sending 50 officers to Philadelphia as part of a surge in federal law enforcement helping the city address violent and drug-related crime, said Tasha Jamerson, spokeswoman for the District Attorney's office.
After two teenagers were gunned down March 12 by a man using an AK-47 on 9th Street near Indiana Avenue, authorities identified the 25th police district in North Philadelphia as a target area to closely monitor.
Working from a tip supplied by a confidential DEA source, authorities began investigating an open air heroin market, which was allegedly being run by Carlos Esobar, 40 of Kensington and Miguel "Jose" Gomez, 55, of Fairhill, Jamerson said.
The drug ring was apparently based on 7th and Cambria Streets, which is a few blocks away from the scene of the double shooting homicide.
Officials seized 52 bundles of heroin and arrested 40 people throughout the summer, including the seven men who allegedly ran the drug distribution ring.
Charges against the seven men were announced Wednesday and the men, ranging from 26 to 55-years-old, are scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 27, said Tasha Jamerson, spokeswoman for the District Attorney.
The following men were arrested for allegedly running the drug ring:
Carlos Escobar, 40, of Hartville Street near Ontario, Kensington
Miguel “Jose” Gomez, 55, Marshall Street near Cambria, Fairhill
Jorge Gonzalez, 37, Randolph Street near Erie, Hunting Park
Carlos Jiminez, 35, Indiana Avenue near Chalmers Avenue, North Philadelphia
Jose Ramos, 51, 6th Street near Allegheny Avenue, Fairhill
Pedro Mendez,34, Marshall Street near Wingohocking, Hunting Park
Melvin Montano, 26, Ontario near B Street, Kensington