A drug investigation in Philadelphia led to the arrest of six men in connection with the seizure of millions of dollars worth of cocaine.
When cut and packaged for distribution, the seized cocaine has a retail street value of $23.2 million, according to Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
Francisco Severino-Ortega, 54, of Washington Heights, New York, Argenis Dioscoris Grullon, 37, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, Jose Morales, 53, of Kissimmee, Florida, Michael Perez, 24, of Puerto Rico, Juan Rojas, 32, of Bronx, New York, and John Olmedo, 48, of Philadelphia were all charged with one count each of manufacturing, delivery or possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity and possession of a controlled substance.
The investigation, according to the AG's office, involved a drug trafficking organization that smuggles cocaine from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to domestic locations, including Philadelphia. In total, 238 kilograms of cocaine was seized during the investigation, along with $77,000 in cash, a money counter and a heat sealer.
According to investigators, the cocaine had come from an industrial warehouse at 238 West Cambria St. About 192 kilograms of cocaine was seized from the warehouse after obtaining a search warrant, leading to the arrests of Perez, Morales and Olmedo.
Police also arrested Severino-Ortega, Rojas and Grullon in the vicinity of East Lehigh and Trenton Avenues following two separate vehicle stops in which 40 kilograms of cocaine were seized
"While I’m always pleased when we arrest multiple drug dealers, more importantly we kept this poison off our streets and away from our children — especially in southeast Pennsylvania where so many people are concentrated," Kane said.