Rachama Lao's husband and kids were resting inside a motel room on Roosevelt Boulevard in Rhawnhurst Saturday evening, after having traveled from Montreal, Canada.
They thought they were going to Atlantic City for a fun weekend.
Instead, Lao's three children, ranging in age from 11 to 3, saw their mother being handcuffed outside the Roosevelt Inn and shoved into the back of a car in the motel parking lot by narcotics officers.
Police said she had been grabbed after she handed over about 30,000 Ecstasy pills she thought she was selling to users who turned out to be undercover officers, police said.
Cops said that her husband had not been involved and that he and the children returned to Canada.
Lao was one of seven people arrested in a crackdown on what narcotics officers said was an extensive operation with roots in Canada.
The total yield, according to Narcotics Capt. Chris Werner - seven arrests, $1.5 million, 40,000 pills with a street value of $800,000, 155 pounds of marijuana, six firearms.
"This is a sophisticated operation, and we believe that there is an illegal lab somewhere in Canada," said Chief Inspector William Blackburn.
Information that led to Lao's arrest was developed Jan. 26, when officers went to 3rd Street and Oregon Avenue in South Philadelphia to buy 1,000 Ecstasy pills from a local dealer whom police identified as Voong Long, 26.
While the deal went down, officers saw another car that Werner said appeared to be there "to protect the drugs that were being sold."
The occupants of the car were identified by police as Roberck Suom, 24, and Minh Ha, 21.
The car sped off, but officers tracked it to a house on Fairhill Street near Johnston in South Philadelphia that police said was owned by Suom.
As a result of surveillance by officers on Suom's house, another man, Nathonn Ung, 22, was taken into custody.
"Ung entered the house on Fairhill Street, stayed for a short period of time, and then left with a package," Werner said.
Police said he had purchased about 1,000 Ecstasy pills from dealers inside.
Police confiscated a .38-caliber revolver from Ung and five more weapons from the house, Werner said.
After taking Ung into custody, cops found that the Fairhill Street house was being used to bag up the drugs for resale, police said.
As a result of that discovery, Sophal Heng, 24, and Vicheka Pann, 25, were taken into custody, police said.
Officers also served a search warrant on a building on 7th Street near Winton in South Philadelphia that police said is a cafe owned by Suom.