Northeast Times

Police say five ran a heroin operation in Bustleton

Drugs and paraphernalia from Stoney Lane raid, which took place on May 31, 2012, Phil­adelphia, Pa. A total of 1317 grams of heroin was seized, with a street value of $434,610.00. (photo provided by Phil­adelphia Po­lice)

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Phil­adelphia nar­cot­ics in­vest­ig­at­ors have ar­res­ted five men, in­clud­ing four res­id­ents of the Domin­ic­an Re­pub­lic, for al­legedly op­er­at­ing a multi-mil­lion dol­lar heroin pack­aging op­er­a­tion in a Bustleton du­plex apart­ment.

Mem­bers of the Nar­cot­ics Field Unit ar­res­ted Pa­gan Melvin as he ex­ited the du­plex on the 1500 block of Stoney Lane on May 31. Melvin al­legedly had six grams of heroin in a clear plastic bag­gie.

Dur­ing a sub­sequent search of the prop­erty, of­ficers found 619 pack­ets of heroin weigh­ing 1,317 grams with a “street value” of $434,610, said Sgt. Bob Fri­el. Po­lice also seized $1,126 cash from the apart­ment and ar­res­ted four people that were re­pack­aging bulk heroin for street-level dis­tri­bu­tion, Fri­el said.

The de­fend­ants in­clude Melvin, 33, of the 6400 block of Ox­ford Ave.; Dav­id Cruz-Rodrig­uez, 32, of the 3400 block of Ormes St.; Roberto Del Orbe, 44, of the 4800 block of B St.; Jo­hana Las­ala, 34, of the 200 block of E. West­mo­re­land St.; and Elario Sanc­hez, 49, of the 6200 block of Souder St. All but Sanc­hez are be­lieved to be Domin­ic­an cit­izens.

Of­ficer Charles My­ers led the in­vest­ig­a­tion, which began early last month when po­lice placed mul­tiple sus­pec­ted drug corners in West Kens­ing­ton un­der sur­veil­lance. The of­ficers tracked Melvin to the Stoney Lane ad­dress, which was used as a stash house and pack­aging loc­a­tion, Fri­el said.

In ad­di­tion to the drugs and cash, po­lice also con­fis­cated heroin grind­ing devices and brand­ing stamps from the Stoney Lane apart­ment, Fri­el said.

All five de­fend­ants were charged with drug pos­ses­sion, dis­tri­bu­tion and con­spir­acy. ••

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