Federal agents have dismantled what they said was a high-volume heroin ring that routinely funneled pounds of the drug from New York to sell on Philadelphia streets.
By Thursday, 15 of the alleged ring members were in custody, according to U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger and Vito Guarino, acting special agent-in-charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Agents were hunting for five more suspects, including the alleged ringleader, Francisco Javier Acosta-Cruz, 49, a Dominican living in Philadelphia.
All but one were named in a 13-count indictment handed up in September that remained sealed until the arrests this week. Though it described Acosta-Cruz as the boss, it also said he regularly traveled to his homeland and handed the reins of his operation to Jose Alberto Nunez of Pennsauken.