Camden Police Escalate War On Drug Trafficking

Posted: March 19, 1988

Members of the Camden Police Department plan to begin street sweeps of known drug corners Monday in a stepped-up effort to fight drug trafficking in the Camden area, police officials said yesterday.

During a four-day operation earlier this week conducted by members of the Camden County Narcotics Strike Force, 49 people were arrested in north Camden.

Police sources said at least half a dozen patrol officers had been temporarily assigned to the narcotics unit to help with the sweeps.

Camden County Prosecutor Samuel Asbell, who is in charge of the Camden County Narcotics Strike Force, praised Director of Police Robert Winters' efforts to keep the pressure on drug dealers.

"Law enforcement officers are now concentrating on the supply and demand of drugs," Asbell said. "If we can knock out the demand for the drugs, then obviously the supply will not be as great.

"In addition to having to think about the risk of getting hit over the head, we want to give the people coming into the area to buy drugs something else to think about."

Asbell has called Camden the hub of drug activity in South Jersey. Narcotics officers say there is a higher quality of cocaine in Camden than in New York, thus making South Jersey an attractive location for purchases.

Law enforcement officers said the high-speed roads into Camden allowed people from Philadelphia and other nearby areas to zip in to the city, buy drugs and leave quickly.

At least two homicides in Camden this year have been drug-related, according to police records.

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