Suspect escapes police custody in North Philadelphia; manhunt leads to large drug packaging facility

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Suspect escapes police custody in North Philadelphia; manhunt leads to large drug packaging facility: Dann Cuellar reports on Action News at 11 p.m., October 24, 2017 (WPVI)

A shooting investigation in the Juniata section of Philadelphia led police to a major heroin distribution center with a large cache of weapons and cash.

It all started just before 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when police responded to the 4000 block of L Street for a report of a shooting.

Witnesses said a 19-year-old man had already been taken by a private car to Saint Christopher's Hospital for Children with a gunshot wound to the chest.
Police then went to 10th and Russell streets where they stopped a car with two people inside they thought might be tied to the incident.

Police said they subsequently handcuffed the driver of the car, Lamic Conde, and placed him in a patrol car.

Police said they were cuffing the alleged shooter for transport when somebody opened the door to the cruiser and let Conde out. According to investigators, he fled on foot, while still in handcuffs.

A police helicopter and SWAT teams began searching the area around 10th and Russell streets. According to officials, scent-tracking dogs following Conde's trail led officers to a large heroin packaging and distribution facility on the 900 block of Russell Street.

"Throughout the property they found a packaging operation," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small. " [They found] what is used to cut, weigh, package and bundle heroin for street sales."

Police said there were hundreds of bundles of heroin with a street value of several hundred thousand dollars.

"When police went to clear the second floor, they found multiple weapons," said Small. "At least two assault weapons, one handgun and what appeared to be some uncut heroin."

Police said the victim is in critical but stable condition with a gunshot wound to the chest.

There is no word on a motive for the shooting.

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