The Philadelphia U.S. Attorney’s office announced this week that seven people had been indicted and accused of smuggling more than six kilos of heroin into the United States from the Dominican Republic between November 2010 and March 2012.
According to U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger, the defendants were charged in an elaborate drug trafficking conspiracy where recruited couriers would either swallow sealed pellets of heroin or otherwise conceal the packets in a body cavity for later expulsion. Charged as members of the Castillo drug smuggling organization were Higinio Castillo, Michael Nunez-Rodriguez, Philip Osley, Yeltsin Genao, Kevlin Perez, Julio Gabriel Perez-Martinez and Jose Eddy Padilla-Caban.
The charges include conspiracy to import one kilogram or more of heroin, importation of 100 grams or more of heroin, conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, possession of 100 grams or more of heroin with intent to distribute, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and using and carrying a firearm during an in relation to a drug trafficking crime and crime of violence.
Federal investigators allege that on August 24, 2011, drug gang members Genao, Nunez-Rodriguez and Perez attempted to kidnap one of their couriers who had gotten arrested a week before by federal agents and had his drugs confiscated. Except that Genao, Nunez-Rodriguez and Perez believed the courier stole the heroin for himself. When the courier arrived at Philadelphia International Airport, the three gang members allegedly kidnapped the courier and took him to a residence on 19th Street where the defendants bound the courier’s hands and feet, threatened him with physical harm, and brandished and discharged a firearm, in an attempt to locate the missing heroin.
As of Tribune press time all of the defendants are in federal detention.
Wanted for Robbery
The Philadelphia Police Department is asking for the community’s assistance in locating Maurice Connelly, 20. Connelly, who is from the 5900 block of North 21st Street, is wanted for robbing two Game Stop stores on June 24 and June 25 in the East Germantown and Glenwood sections of Philadelphia.
Investigators allege that on June 24, 2012, at 11:55 a.m., Connelly entered the Game Stop at 5301 Chew Avenue armed with a handgun, demanding money from the safe and cash registers. Connelly handed a store employee a backpack and the suspect fled with an undetermined amount of cash, an X-Box game system, X-Box games, employees’ cell phones and store keys.
Investigators believe that over four days, Connelly committed three armed robberies, including a Dunkin Donuts on Chew Avenue, near La Salle University. Law enforcement authorities are becoming more and more concerned about Connelly as his robberies are becoming more aggressive.