Drugs seized would have created 250,000 doses of heroin and fentanyl
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced felony charges against two Philadelphia drug dealers following a search of a North Philadelphia home and discovery of 7.2 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl valued at more than $2.6 million.
The amount of heroin and fentanyl seized would have produced 250,000 doses for sale on the streets of Philadelphia.
Cesar Guzman, 24, and Duagermy Sanchez-Rosario, 30, both of the 4300 block of N. 4th Street, Philadelphia, were arrested Sunday night and charged with possession with intent to deliver, dealing in proceeds and criminal conspiracy, among other offenses. The house where the drug seizures and arrests took place is in the Feltonville and Juniata Park neighborhoods of Philadelphia.
“These drug dealers were trafficking an extraordinary amount of heroin, which they were mixing with fentanyl to make it even deadlier,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said at a press conference today at the Office of Attorney General in Philadelphia, where he was joined by Philadelphia police and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “The drugs we seized would have created 250,000 doses of heroin and fentanyl to be sold and used on our city’s streets. That is 250,000 death sentences avoided.”
In addition to the large amount of heroin and fentanyl, investigators seized a loaded handgun, drug bags stamped “Demolition Man”, two scales, more than $6,500 in cash and other paraphernalia. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates to be 100 times more potent than morphine.
Under a month-long investigation, agents of the Office of Attorney General used various techniques to make controlled buys of heroin from Guzman and set up surveillance on both Guzman and Sanchez-Rosario and their residence, amassing the evidence that led to Sunday night’s search and seizure of the drugs and the two arrests.
Attorney General Shapiro credited the drug seizures and arrests to strong law enforcement collaboration.
“I want to thank the Philadelphia Police Department and Commissioner Rich Ross, and the Department of Homeland Security in Philadelphia for their assistance in this investigation,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “This is a strong example of law enforcement collaboration making our communities safer.”
“HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners at the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General and the Philadelphia Police Department to purge the streets of dangerous criminals who import and distribute narcotics in our communities,” said Marlon V. Miller, special agent in charge U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Philadelphia. “Targeted enforcement operations like this one highlight HSI’s ongoing commitment to strategically use agency resources to make communities safer.”
“This is a perfect example of outstanding law enforcement teamwork,” said Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Dennis Wilson. “The amount of heroin and fentanyl removed from our streets during this operation is substantial. This was great work by all involved.”
Both defendants are being held on $1.5 million bail and face significant jail sentences if convicted of all the charges against them. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, February 27. The cases will be prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Daniel Sweeney.
Fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic has been Attorney General Shapiro’s number one priority since taking office one year ago. In an unrelated drug raid last September, Office of Attorney General agents arrested ten Philadelphia drug dealers and seized at least 10,000 bags of heroin and fentanyl in Summerdale – a few miles from the scene of Sunday’s arrests. Those defendants waived their preliminary hearings and are awaiting further proceedings in their cases.
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