Philadelphia/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 11, 2024
Philly Drug Bigwig and 16 Accomplices Arrested in FBI Sweep, Hefty Arsenal SeizedSource: Pennsylvania Office of Attorney

A major drug bust led by Attorney General Michelle Henry and the FBI has taken down a significant cocaine trafficking operation in Philadelphia, resulting in 17 arrests and the confiscation of a small arsenal of firearms. The takedown, part of a meticulous months-long probe, also included the seizure of drugs and cash.

During the crackdown, law enforcement from various departments arrested Vincent Lofton, 60, who is believed to be one of the kingpins behind the drug network. Together with 16 other suspects, their operations were halted across Philadelphia and its outskirts, according to the official report. With bail for Lofton set at $1 million on Wednesday, the arrests mark a significant milestone in the fight against drug trafficking.

Investigators executed a series of search and arrest warrants, scoping through more than a dozen residences, several vehicles, and a financial institution. Seized in the sweep were 15 firearms, which included 10 handguns and 5 long guns, alongside nearly 10 pounds of cocaine, 33 pounds of marijuana, other narcotics, paraphernalia, and a stack of cash totaling $65,630.

"Collaboration and coordination between law enforcement thwarted a sophisticated, upper-level trafficking ring constantly bringing large quantities of narcotics to the Commonwealth," Attorney General Henry stated. Among the allies in this major operation were local police departments, county sheriff's offices, and state police, all bringing down a network setting violence upon the community with guns safeguarding their illegal trade.

In a statement highlighting the cooperative nature of the bust, Wayne A. Jacobs, FBI Philadelphia's special agent in charge, underscored the law enforcement's resolve to disrupt drug trafficking organizations poisoning communities with narcotics. "We would like to thank our law enforcement partners for their continued collaboration and for making our state a bit safer today," Jacobs remarked, signaling a united front in the relentless pursuit of those undermining public safety.

The individuals wrapped up in this net of justice, aside from Vincent Lofton, include Jose Escobedo, Tamika Leggett, Haneefah Gladden, Charressa Hopkins, Shanice Lofton, Kiyon Dennis, Bruce Rozier, Shawn Grady, Victor Christmas, Robert Nelson, Phillip Jackson, Nymir Brown, Steven Pittman, Dante Primo, Philip Curtis, and Anthony Jones. Charged with a variety of drug and firearm offenses, they are presently awaiting their day in court. The cases are to be prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Daniel Sweeney, who underscores the due process that each defendant will receive: innocent until proven guilty in the court of law.