Police: $370K in drugs taken from Oxford Circle home

The bust happened around the corner from Samuel S. Fels High School.

District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge last week announced the results of a successful joint investigation with the local Drug Enforcement Administration division that led to an arrest and the confiscation of about $370,000 in heroin and fentanyl at an Oxford Circle home.

Frank Merehildo Rondon, 20, of the 1000 block of Rosalie St., was arrested and charged with possession with the intent to deliver and endangering the welfare of a child. If found guilty, he could face about 20 years in prison.

“The poison that is contained in just a small amount of these drugs is catastrophic,” Hodge said. “And this bust was literally around the corner from a Philadelphia high school (Samuel Fels), so I am so very thankful to the men and women of the office’s dangerous drug offender unit and our partners in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Philadelphia Division, Group 51 for taking this heroin and fentanyl off of our streets.”

“This seizure, which was the result of a joint investigation by the DEA, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and the Philadelphia Police Department, represents a substantial amount of heroin and fentanyl. The packaging and stamps, one of which was “Super O.D.,” recovered from this residence indicate that these drugs were ready to be packaged and distributed on the streets of our communities,” said Gary Tuggle, special agent in charge of the DEA’s Philadelphia Field Division. “In 2016, fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances were responsible for 52 percent of the 4,642 drug overdose deaths across Pennsylvania. In the midst of the most damaging drug epidemic in our history, this seizure will undoubtedly save lives.”

Members of the task force have been conducting investigations into heroin distributors operating in Philadelphia and received information that a male was selling heroin from the Rosalie Street property. Investigators set up their surveillance operation and on numerous occasions allegedly observed Rondon meeting with individuals for drug sales.

On Sept. 13, investigators obtained a search and seizure warrant for the property. There were seven individuals in the residence, including Rondon, a 10-year-old child and an infant. The property was secured, and the city Department of Human Services was notified about the child.

The bust came less than two weeks after nine alleged Dominican drug traffickers were arrested when authorities from the state attorney general’s office found $1.5 million in heroin and fentanyl in a house on the 1100 block of Rosalie St. ••