Police Made 68 Drug Arrests in One Neighborhood in Two Days

The War on Drugs was alive and well in Philly last week.

From left, drug-dealing suspects Alexis Salamon, Gina Collette, Alfredo Negron, and David Nowicki were among last week's arrests. Photos via Philadelphia Police Department photos

From left, drug-dealing suspects Alexis Salamon, Gina Collette, Alfredo Negron, and David Nowicki were among last week’s arrests. Photos via Philadelphia Police Department.

Most drug users in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs know that one of the best places to score dope in the Philadelphia area is in Kensington, where open-air drug deals have long been a staple of neighborhood life. Well, the Philadelphia Police Department tried to show that it means business with two operations last week that led to 68 arrests.

Police announced the arrests on Monday at the Narcotics Strike Force Headquarters on Wissahickon Avenue. The operations took place last Thursday and Friday.

On Thursday, 22 buyers and 10 dealers were arrested, and $155 in crack, $3,110 in heroin and $600 in cocaine were seized. The Thursday arrests took place on Waterloo Street, Water Street, Silver Street, Mutter Street and Williams Street.

On Friday, there were 27 buyers and nine dealers arrested, and $730 in crack, $1,100 in heroin, and a whopping $10 each in cocaine and marijuana seized. Those arrests occurred on Hancock Street, Rosehill Street, Fifth Street and Williams Street.

There were also five cars and $1,825 in cash confiscated. More than a dozen buyers are from the suburbs.

According to police, they initiated the operations after complaints from residents and representatives of City Council about drug dealing in the area.

Police also announced the arrest on Facebook with a strange gallery of mugshots. Until we pointed it out to them, the photos were not accompanied by names. Just a long series of sad images of the “this is what drugs do you you” variety. They also make no distinction between buyers and dealers in the Facebook post. “Unfortunately, we don’t have that,” a police spokesperson told us. “We only had a list of their names.”

At Monday’s press conference, Narcotics Strike Force Captain Lee Strollo tried to show some compassion for the addicts. “You want to get your buyer into a program,” he said. “And maybe this arrest is a wake-up call. Maybe it’s a wake-up call for their family, and maybe they can get the help they need, and we don’t see them back here. At the very least, we don’t want to see them back in Philadelphia.”

Follow @VictorFiorillo on Twitter.