AG to seek $1M bail for nine alleged heroin traffickers

Agents found the defendants fleeing a basement allegedly filled with $1.5 million worth of drugs.

Nine alleged Dominican drug traffickers are scheduled to appear in Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court tomorrow for a bail hearing related to a $1.5 million heroin bust early this month in the Northeast’s Summerdale section.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced on Wednesday that his office will argue to maintain the million-dollar bail initially placed on each defendant, all of whom remain in Philadelphia prisons. The state prosecutor also released the names of the nine defendants for the first time.

The hearing will be in courtroom 805 of the city’s Criminal Justice Center, 1301 Filbert St., at noon. Judge Tracy Brandeis Roman will preside.

“This was a massive drug raid that took $1.5 million in suspected heroin and fentanyl off the streets of Philadelphia — poison that could have killed Philadelphians,” Shapiro said via news release. “Given the felony charges these dealers face, my office is very concerned they pose a flight risk if they are released. We want them to stand trial and be held accountable for peddling this poison in our community.”

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid often combined with heroin by illicit drug traffickers.

As previously reported by the Northeast Times, agents for the attorney general and Philadelphia police raided a house on the 1100 block of Rosalie Street on Sept. 1 and removed 30,000 to 40,000 packets of suspected heroin and fentanyl, as well as three to four kilograms of unbagged narcotics in powder form. The drugs had a combined street value of $1.5 million, the AG’s office said, making it one of the agency’s largest drug seizures “in recent memory.”

During the raid, one agent and four police officers experienced physical reactions to drug exposure inside the house and were treated with Narcan. All five investigators have recovered, the AG’s office said. According to the state prosecutor, the nine suspects attempted to flee the basement where investigators found the drugs.

The AG’s office identified the defendants as Antonio Galan, 37; Yolarini Galan, 35; Jose Munoz, 42; Carlos Munoz, 24; Emillio Padilla, 24; Walky Pereira, 31; Jose Manuel Robles-German, 23; Jancy Rosario, 27; and Ariel Rondon, 32. The AG’s office did not disclose their places of residence or their immigration or citizenship statuses. All nine have family origins in the Dominican Republic, the AG’s office said.

The eight men defendants are imprisoned at the city’s Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facilty. The woman defendant, Yolarini Galan, is imprisoned at the city’s Riverside Correctional Facility. All nine are charged with drug manufacturing and possession, conspiracy, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities and participating in a corrupt organization.

The state prosecutor’s description of the packaging site is similar to a description offered by the U.S. Attorney’s Office following an October 2015 raid of an alleged heroin stash house on the 7500 block of Battersby Street in Mayfair. Authorities allegedly seized about 12 kilograms of the drug valued at about $4 million from that house. As a result, a federal grand jury indicted two men with alleged ties to a Dominican drug trafficking organization.

“The organization used the premises … as a stash house for concealing and storing kilogram quantities of heroin, as a location to cut, prepare and package heroin for street sale,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in announcing the 2015 indictment.

The 2015 investigation was among a series of heroin raids in the Northeast, primarily in the Mayfair area, from October 2015 to August 2016 that netted federal, state and local authorities almost $8 million in confiscated heroin and 18 arrests.

Regarding the Rosalie Street raid, the AG’s office did not disclose where the suspects allegedly obtained the drugs or where they planned to distribute them. The investigation is ongoing, according to the prosecutor. ••

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