Attorney General Josh Shapiro held a press conference at H & Tioga Streets in Harrowgate on Monday to announce the arrest of 35 people involved in three drug rings based in Kensington. The arrests led to the seizure of 20 guns and tens of thousands of doses of drugs.
In a statement, City Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez praised Local, State, and Federal Law Enforcement for targeting major drug traffickers in the neighborhood.
“Today, a collaboration between over a dozen local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies announced numerous arrests connected to a major drug organization in Kensington. The root causes of gun violence are incredibly complex, but the shootings in Kensington are driven almost entirely by drug trafficking. We cannot tackle the skyrocketing number of shootings and homicides in our city without disrupting the organized drug trade, especially by large criminal organizations operating in Kensington.
“I am especially pleased to see so many agencies working together to address these issues collaboratively in Kensington. It is a community that has repeatedly been failed by government at all levels. It is unacceptable that one of our neighborhoods has become a free-fire zone with open drug markets known throughout the East Coast. Drug kingpins are getting rich while most residents are trapped in crippling poverty. If this was happening in Rittenhouse Square or Chestnut Hill, there would be calls to send in the PA National Guard or U.S. marines.
“I believe that the only real solution for the crisis in Kensington is investment in the people who live in that community. That means education, training, and decent paying jobs. But it’s impossible to provide those things in an environment that is ruled by fear. That is what is happening in Kensington thanks to these drug trafficking organizations. That’s why these violent criminals must be targeted and put out of business forever. I’m thankful to Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the Philadelphia Police Department, and all the other local, state, and federal agencies that worked together to make today’s announcement possible.”