February 6, 2015 |
IN A BEAT-UP maroon Toyota Corolla, Carol Rostucher drives slowly up Kensington Avenue, the street of tortured souls lost in heroin's handgrip. She scans the young faces, the ones with the faraway eyes of self-disgust. One of them might be her son, Drew, a handsome 25-year-old. He was her first-born, once an athletic, artistic "social butterfly. " She knows he is out here. "As long as he's breathing, there is hope," she says. Garbage bags filled with blankets, hats, gloves and feet warmers cover the back seat.
July 24, 1991 |
In his hot bedroom on North Fourth Street, Tomas "June" Vasquez lay naked and sweating just after dawn yesterday. A shotgun lay under his bed, but he did not bother to retrieve it. As Vasquez awakened, narcotics agents burst into the bedroom and roused him from his slumber. They did not have to break down the door of the brick rowhouse. They merely knocked, and his wife let them in. It was a surprisingly ginger arrest for a man labeled the number-one target of what the U.S. Attorney's office called the largest single federal narcotics roundup ever in Philadelphia.
January 13, 1995 |
For more than a year, a drug ring peddled $3.75 million worth of heroin in a Kensington neighborhood. Yesterday, the suspected suppliers and dealers got busted. Federal, state and local agents swooped down with indictments and arrest warrants around the neighborhood of A and Somerset streets. Altogether, 27 were indicted by a federal grand jury. By noon, all but 10 were in custody. "This is not the arrest of one dealer," U.S. Attorney Michael R. Stiles said at a press conference.
June 16, 1986 |
Gerald J. Kauffmann, 39, was bound over for trial last week on charges of possession and sale of controlled substances during a preliminary hearing before District Justice James W. Speers. The case of Kauffmann, a resident of the 2000 block of Spring Mill Road in Whitemarsh, goes to Montgomery County Court. Similar charges against Kauffmann's wife Donna, 30, and brother-in-law, Ronald, 34, both of the same address, were dismissed during the proceeding Thursday after four witnesses failed to appear.
July 24, 1987 |
For six days, Roland "Pops" Bartlett behaved in a manner befitting a monarch. Bartlett, long thought to be an "untouchable" kingpin in the drug world, remained calm and businesslike as he listened to former top aides Darryl Cherry, Lorenzo Werts and others testify against him in his trial in U.S. District Court. Wearing smoked aviator glasses and impeccably tailored conservative business suits, Bartlett heard how he wielded violent power in running the "most lucrative, long-running, undetected" heroin empire, which he called "The Family," in North Philadelphia, Germantown and nearby counties.
December 20, 1991 |
A Camden city man was caught trying to smuggle 10 bags of heroin concealed in a paperback book to an inmate at the Camden County Jail, authorities said yesterday. Joseph Czarnecki, 19, of the 2000 block of Howell Street, was arrested Wednesday and charged with possession of heroin and possession with intent to distribute. He was being held in the Camden County Jail yesterday after failing to post $7,500 bail. Sgt. Philip J. Dollarton, a spokesman for Camden County Sheriff William J. Simon, said that at 6 p.m., Czarnecki walked up to the visitors' desk and presented a corrections officer with a set of long underwear and a copy of Mario Puzo's novel The Fourth K for delivery to an inmate.
February 1, 2001 |
North Philadelphia restaurateur Pedro Jiminez yesterday was sentenced to 14 years in prison, without chance of parole, by U.S. District Judge William H. Yohn Jr., for trafficking in heroin. Jiminez, 32, a Dominican national, ran El Esfuerzo, a popular neighborhood restaurant on Lehigh Avenue, his lawyer said. He was convicted by a jury in September of being part of a group that supplied more than 2.2 pounds of heroin to dealers in the area of 2nd Street and Lehigh Avenue, a neighborhood targeted for drug sweeps in Operation Sunrise.
August 4, 1988 |
A Burlington City man who supplied a fatal batch of heroin to a 16-year-old Arkansas girl was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison. Patrick R. Courtney, 32, of the 800 block of Route 130, was the first person charged in Burlington County under a new state law that makes a drug supplier liable if someone dies as a result of using the drugs. "I'm very sorry that it all happened," Courtney told Burlington County Superior Court Judge Cornelius P. Sullivan before he was sentenced.
March 9, 1999 |
Federal drug enforcement agents have charged two New York men with attempting to smuggle $500,000 worth of heroin to three drug rings operating in Camden. The suspects, Paul Rivera, 39, of the 1500 block of Fulton Avenue in the Bronx, and Jorge L. Agudelo, 36, of Elmhurst, were arrested late last week on drug distribution charges. Rivera posted $500,000 bail and was released yesterday after a brief hearing in U.S. District Court in Camden. Agudelo was denied bail. The arrests capped a five-week investigation of the two men, Detective Fred Davis of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said yesterday.
May 10, 2004 |
Heroin producers in Afghanistan, some of the principal financiers of al-Qaeda and other terrorists, have never been so brazen or so wealthy. With a bumper crop of opium poppies under cultivation, Afghan narco-barons have begun stamping their brand names on the 2.2-pound bags of heroin they smuggle out of Central Asia to buyers in Moscow, Amsterdam, London and New York. Sacks of high-quality Afghan heroin seized last week in Tajikistan carried the trademarks Super Power and 555. Some of the sacks, hidden inside foil-lined containers of instant cappuccino mix, even included the addresses of the labs in Afghanistan where the heroin had been refined.