WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- Officials announced that 19 people have been charged in connection with a drug trafficking ring in New Castle County.
U.S. Attorney in the District of Delaware David Weiss released the details of the arrests on Thursday.
Through a multi-state, multi-agency investigation, authorities say they discovered a drug trafficking organization headed by two suspects that supplied cocaine, methamphetamine, counterfeit fentanyl pills, and marijuana in the Wilmington, Delaware area.
Specifically, officials say the operation was based out of the Rosegate community, which is comprised of 200 rowhomes in a secluded, compact neighborhood.
Weiss stated that the drug trafficking ring openly operated its drug business in the area.
Suspects allegedly stored drugs in elderly community members' homes and vehicles and paid them to store, package, and sell drugs.
Officials also allege the drug trafficking suspects used an abandoned day care facility to manufacture and package counterfeit methamphetamine and fentanyl pills for resale.
At the end of the investigation, authorities stated they seized the following:
- 3.5 kilograms of counterfeit methamphetamine and fentanyl pills
- 1.7 kilograms of cocaine
- 11 handguns
- 2 assault rifles
- 2 large pill presses
- 7.5 lbs. of marijuana
- a quarter pound of methamphetamine
- $78,000 of U.S. currency
"The defendants openly and brazenly trafficked large quantities of drugs in our community," stated Weiss. "These defendants also abused the trust of elderly Rosegate community members and flagrantly manufactured counterfeit pills in an abandoned day care. We will pursue these charges to the fullest extent of the law."
All of the defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics and some are charged with federal firearms charges.
If convicted, officials say they face a maximum penalty of 20 years behind bars.