In a news release issued on Thursday, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said it all began with several arrests of street-level drug dealers in North Philadelphia on September 8th.
Those arrests followed a five month investigation.
The D.A. said the investigation led to the discovery of a direct link between those dealers and the Sinaloa Cartel, which operates from Sinaloa and Juarez, Mexico.
Investigators determined that members of the Sinaloa Cartel were negotiating with Philadelphia drug traffickers to become the exclusive distributor of the cartel's heroin, cocaine and marijuana product throughout the city and the surrounding region.
The members of the cartel proposed an initial delivery of 10 kilos of cocaine with a street value of approximately $35,000 a kilo, the D.A.'s statement said.
That delivery would have been followed by bi-weekly deliveries of similar shipments to establish a relationship between the two groups. Once that relationship was established, and enough trust had been developed, the D.A. said the plan was to increase the deliveries to 100-200 kilos at a time.
However, investigators in the Dangerous Drug Offenders Unit and their counterparts from the DEA and the FBI were able to intercept the very first shipment of cocaine.
"These agents effectively cut off the head of this dangerous and deadly monster before it ever had a chance of poisoning our streets," says District Attorney Seth Williams said in that statement. "There is no question in my mind that, if the cartel was able to develop a relationship with drug traffickers in Philadelphia, there would have been drugs from this cartel infecting our city for years to come."
Along with the 10 kilos of cocaine, several weapons, computers, houses and cash were seized. Numerous arrests were made both here and in Texas, including the arrest of the Sinaloa Cartel's distributor.
Due to the serious threat of retaliation and fear for the safety of the defendants, the D.A.'s office is not releasing any names at this time.