Dozens arrested in major Delco drug sweep

Action News was there as police brought in suspects following a massive drug raid overnight in Darby Borough, Delaware County.

May 6, 2011 2:56:24 PM PDT
Dozens of people have been arrested after law enforcement authorities conducted a massive drug raid early Friday in Darby Borough, Delaware County.

Action News was there as teams of police officers from multiple jurisdictions combed the streets for suspects as the sun came up Friday morning.

"Our goal was to hit 'em at 6:00 a.m. at that was exactly what we started to do," said police Chief Robert Smythe.

Soon enough, a succession of men and women in handcuffs began showing up at Darby Borough Police headquarters to face charges in federal and state courts.

"It was a significant drug operation that is culminating today with a number of arrests," said Delaware County D.A. Michael Green.

Darby Borough police say a violent murder three years ago touched off a turf war that spiraled out of control. They decided to call in outside agencies for help.

The first series of joint raids happened in June of last year. Smythe says that action led to a more than 90 percent drop in shootings.

He says this second wave of raids was needed to further sanitize borough streets of drug dealers and violent thugs.

"Drug dealers, beware. Just because we made arrests today, doesn't mean this afternoon we're not going to still be looking for you," Chief Smythe said.

In all, more than 30 people were in custody by Friday evening.

Police say they caught one of them, William Ross, selling drugs at the brand new Darby Recreation Center, just dedicated this spring.

The mayor of Darby, Helen Thomas, promised that authorities would keep up the pressure on criminals.

"There are better days ahead. It's going to happen again and again because we're not going nowhere," Mayor Thomas said.

Police say the drugs seized during the raid include 30 bags of cocaine, 600 bags of crack cocaine and 100 bags of marijuana, heroin, PCP and oxycodone.

Officers also say they nabbed $24,627 in cash and numerous firearms.