Drug investigators make massive heroin bust in Summerdale

Authorities seized about $1.5 million worth of the drug and arrested nine inside a Rosalie Street house.

A swarm of state narcotics investigators and Philadelphia police raided a Summerdale home on Friday, seizing about $1.5 million worth of heroin and arresting at least nine people.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross conducted a joint news conference late Friday afternoon yards from the alleged drug house on the 1100 block of Rosalie Street. As the law enforcement commanders addressed the media, agents continued to remove tens of thousands of bags of suspected heroin from the property while guarding against public exposure and their own exposure to airborne drug powder.

Four police officers and one agent for the AG’s office experienced physical reactions to drug exposure inside the house and were treated with Narcan, the AG’s office said. All five were expected to make full recoveries.

Authorities confiscated 30,000 to 40,000 bags of suspected heroin, along with three to four kilograms unpackaged, the AG’s office said. The State Police chemical lab is testing the substances to verify their composition.

Shapiro and Ross did not disclose the identities of the people arrested or describe the scope of the Rosalie Street operation. Initially, Shapiro Tweeted 10 arrests were made. In a subsequent news release, the AG’s office stated there were nine arrests and all nine “are from the Dominican Republic.”

“Our agents, working with Philadelphia Police and the Pennsylvania State Police, got these drug dealers out of Summerdale and took the necessary steps to restore public safety to that neighborhood yesterday,” Shapiro said in Saturday’s release.

“As I told the neighbors in Summerdale last night, drug dealing is not a victimless crime. We hear them. We know what they’re going through. And we’ll work around the clock to get the people peddling these poisons out of their community.”

According to 6abc, Ross told reporters at the scene: “It’s just crazy to have to deal with something like this. And people shouldn’t have to live like this. And so we’re going to work hard to make sure we improve the situation.”

City property records show the owner of the home has a Pennsauken, N.J., mailing address. He bought the property in June 2016. The landlord’s Pennsauken address was put up for sale on Sept. 1, one day before the raid, real estate listings show.

The AG’s office stated nine suspects were arrested in various locations within the house. Authorities cordoned off the house and several blocks surrounding it for much of Friday. The city’s Department of Licenses and Inspection sealed the house that night as authorities reopened nearby streets, the AG’s office said. ••

William Kenny can be reached at 215–354–3031 or wkenny@bsmphilly.com. Follow the Times on Twitter @NETimesOfficial.