At least 29 arrested in Delco drug sweep

Posted: September 05, 2012

At least 29 people have been arrested in Delaware County after a sweep by federal and local law enforcement targeting alleged drug dealers and people with outstanding warrants, officials announced Wednesday.

"Drug dealers beware," District Attorney Jack Whelan said. "We're going to continue our undercover efforts, we're going to target you, we're going to arrest you, we're going to put you in jail, and we're going to keep you in jail."

In the late morning, police cars involved in the operation could be seen speeding along MacDade Boulevard in Collingdale and in Folcroft south of Chester Pike. Arrests continued throughout the day, officials said.

Twenty arrests were by the Delaware County Anti-Drug Task Force in conjunction with the U.S. Marshals Service and local police, and targeted alleged drug dealers.

The Sheriff's Department simultaneously rounded up at least nine people with outstanding warrants for failure to appear in court, parole or probation violations, or other crimes, according to Erica Parham, an assistant district attorney.

Whelan said the arrests centered on Aldan, Clifton Heights, Collingdale, Darby Borough, Darby Township, and Sharon Hill. There has been an increase in drug arrests, including for heroin, in those areas, Whelan said, although he did not have exact numbers.

Young people are becoming addicted to opioids including OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin, which typically sell for $25 a pill on the streets, Whelan said. He said they often move on to heroin, which sells for $5 a bag. Drug addicts then commit robberies and burglaries to support their habits.

"Heroin is a real problem for us," Whelan said. "You are either addicted or dead."

Whelan said his office would work with addicts to help them overcome their addiction using drug-treatment court.

Contact Mari A. Schaefer at 610-892-9149, or @MariSchaefer on Twitter.

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