Major drug organizations busted

March 7, 2008 3:45:52 PM PST
Attorney General Tom Corbett and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey announced the take down of two major drug organizations. They call this one Operation Dry Spell because it happened during a period of time where the cocaine market was suffering a drought.

What happened was in March of 2007, the U.S. Coast Guard made a huge bust off the coast of Panama, finding 42,000 pounds of cocaine on a boat. They took that away, and suddenly it became very difficult to find cocaine on the streets of Philadelphia, and across the country. That's when a lot of people started making mistakes.

Police arrested Shannon "Whoopie" McKeiver, who is one of two big players in this case. Police say he is a major cocaine supplier, and had plotted to kidnap another dealer to rob him of his drugs.

The second player arrested is Preston "P.R." Suttles. Police say he was part of a second cocaine distribution ring operating out of the Philadelphia area.

Authorities say the drugs were being sold in the Philadelphia area, the Lehigh Valley, and the Poconos.

Both have been indicted by a grand jury in an investigation that began in late 2006. The attorney general's office put some of the drugs, cash and weapons on display, plus the bungee chords and duct tape they say was going to be used in the kidnapping of a drug dealer.

The drug market drying up was a factor. "They had become desperate looking for it. But also when a drug dries up, or the supply dries up, it does the same thing that happens in any other economy ? the less supply, the greater the price. So prices do go up for a period of time," explained Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania Attorney General.

This effort was a cooperation between the state attorney general's office and Philadelphia narcotics detectives. There are 22 suspects wanted in the investigation, and now 16 have been arrested. Six others are still being sought.