Philadelphia narcotics officers took an alleged Northeast-based heroin dealer off the streets last week.
Howard Espinal, of the 6500 block of Everett St. in Castor Gardens, was supplying heroin for open-air sales on the 2800 block of Gransback St. in Feltonville, at Rosehill and Thayer streets in Kensington, and at Frankford Avenue and Clearfield Street in Kensington, according to Sgt. Robert Friel of Narcotics Field Unit North.
Espinal also was involved in a fraudulent tax return scheme in which crooks used the Social Security numbers of people living in Puerto Rico to file false tax returns and con the Internal Revenue Service out of refunds ranging from $5,000 to $7,500 per filing, Friel said.
Investigators determined that Espinal used his Everett Street apartment as a packaging house for the heroin, which was sold under the brand names “North Philly,” “Benz,” “Phillies,” “Apache,” “Bin Laden” and “Rambo.”
On Feb. 17, narcotics officers and 2nd district police raided the apartment and allegedly found 556 packets of heroin, one bag of bulk heroin, a grinder, scales, packaging materials and brand stamps, along with numerous tax returns filed in the names of various people.
The IRS and Secret Service were notified of the suspicious tax returns.
The value of the confiscated drugs was $7,870, Friel said.
Espinal is charged with drug possession, possession with intent to deliver and possessing drug paraphernalia.
Officer Charles Myers led the investigation. ••EndFragment