240G drug raids yield guns, cockfighting ring

An officer with the Pennsylvania SPCA loads fighting cocks into a van in the 4000 block of North Fairhill Street while investigating a suspected cockfighting operation. (Ron Tarver / Staff Photographer )
An officer with the Pennsylvania SPCA loads fighting cocks into a van in the 4000 block of North Fairhill Street while investigating a suspected cockfighting operation. (Ron Tarver / Staff Photographer )
Posted: March 02, 2012

IN ONE OF the biggest narcotics sweeps in recent years, cops yesterday seized weapons, cash and drugs, locked up 100 alleged drug dealers and busted a suspected cockfighting ring.

Officers from the Narcotics Bureau and the Strike Force began serving about 90 search-and-seizure warrants throughout the East Detective Division, which encompasses Kensington, Fairhill and other sections of North Philadelphia and the Lower Northeast early yesterday, Narcotics Chief Inspector Cynthia Dorsey said last night.

Cops confiscated cocaine, crack, marijuana, heroin, PCP and pills with an estimated street value of nearly $200,000 and $41,000 in cash.

They also seized 30 firearms, including shotguns and a machine pistol with a silencer.

"We've done about eight of these [sweeps] in the past few years," Deputy Commissioner William Blackburn said. "This is one of the better ones."

Twelve guns and several bags of various drugs, including a half-kilo brick of cocaine valued at $50,000, covered a long table in the 24th/25th District headquarters, Whitaker Avenue near Erie, as Dorsey and Blackburn discussed the sweep.

While serving one warrant on Fairhill Street near Lycoming, in Hunting Park, cops also stumbled upon evidence of a cockfighting ring, officials said.

They found at least 47 roosters and about 50 hens and chicks, a fighting ring and other cockfighting paraphernalia, said Wendy Marano, a Pennsylvania SPCA spokeswoman.

Lt. Michael Kopecki said they also found weapons, heroin and packaging for narcotics.

Humane Law Enforcement officers removed the birds from the houses, and were still on the scene about 8:45 p.m.

Dorsey estimated that about 100 officers had been involved in the sweep.


Contact Morgan Zalot at 215-854-5928 or zalotm@phillynews.com, or follow her on Twitter @morganzalot. Read her blog, "Philly Confidential" at phillyconfidential.com.

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