Record cocaine bust in South Philly

April 2, 2008 5:57:25 PM PDT
It is the biggest cocaine bust in the history of Philadelphia. The numbers are stunning. Lawmen have seized 274 kilos of cocaine with a value of $28-million from a row home in Gray's Ferry.

Authorities have a father and son in custody tonight, 56-year-old Ricardo McKendrick Senior and his son, 36-year-old Ricardo Junior. They are accused of operating this major distribution network, putting millions of dollars in cocaine onto the streets of this city.

It's the largest seizure in this city's history, and this afternoon officials from the FBI, the U.S. Attorney's Office, and the Philadelphia Police stood side by side in front of the seizure to announce the results of their joint investigation.

Investigators say Ricardo McKendrick Senior and his son were operating this major cocaine distribution network out of 2606 Federal Street.

Weeks ago, Police and the Feds started their surveillance of 2606 Federal and the house next door to the left, 2604. They say in the last 72 hours they witnessed numerous people coming and going. Then, yesterday they pulled over Ricardo McKendrick Junior and, they say, they found a black duffle bag containing $53,000. Later, a search warrant for 2606 Federal allegedly turned up the millions of dollars in drugs: Some of it stashed in the washing machine, more in the living room. In addition, they found more money totaling $62,000 and one gun.

Police say the McKendrick's seemed to operate without fear, keeping the drugs in the open and doing little to protect themselves or their lucrative product. Police also searched a car in Woodstown, New Jersey and came up with duffle bags containing up to $800,000 in cash.

Both McKendricks are in federal custody accused of possession with intent to deliver. They'll be in federal court on Thursday.