Delaware drug operation crumbles[video]

 (Nichelle Polston/WHYY)

(Nichelle Polston/WHYY)

A major drug ring in Delaware has been shut down and 40 people are now behind bars with more arrests on the way.

The scope of the heroin operation was revealed during Wednesday’s press conference at the Delaware State Police Troop 2 Headquarters in Newark. Federal, State and local agencies joined forces in December 2013 to tackle drug operation that began with two separate investigations involving 31 year-old Andrew Lloyd and 29 year-old Jarrell Brown both of Newark.

“These individuals are responsible or have been involved in drug activity. As we all know drug activity leads into other crimes, disorderly conduct, assaults, shootings and things of that nature,” Vaughn Bond, Deputy Chief of the New Castle County Police Department, said.

According to officials, Lloyd is accused of leading a large heroin network in Wilmington, and was charged with a total of 36 felony and 4 misdemeanor crimes including Racketeering and drug offenses. Brown was charged with a total of 64 felonies. Both men are in jail.

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Nathaniel McQueen of the Delaware State Police said the investigation and arrests are significant.

“This investigation emphasizes the impact and the benefit of all of agencies working together. All of agencies are committed with our communities to reduce violent crime and drug trafficking throughout the state of Delaware,” said McQueen.

The Delaware State Police, the Delaware Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration-Wilmington Office (DEA), the Wilmington Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the New Castle County Police Department, the Division of Probation and Parole, the Newark Police Department, and the Pennsylvania State Police were all involved in the eleven month investigation that was named “Operation Son Sun”.

As a result of the multi-agency investigation 44 individuals were arrested or indicted on 330 drug and weapon offenses. Several drugs have been seized as well such as methamphetamine, marijuana, fentanyl patches, 25 grams of cocaine and 416 grams of heroin.

According to Michael Dellacorte, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Philadelphia Division DEA, the illegal drugs meant big bucks for the dealers involved especially heroin.

“One kilogram of heroin from this organization yielded approximately 40 thousand dime bags. This equates to about 500,000 bags of heroin being distributed throughout the community in a 12-month period with a profit of about 2-million dollars,” Dellacorte said.

In addition, multiple handguns along with ammunition, cash and 2 motor vehicles were confiscated too.

Delaware State Prosecutor Kathleen Jennings called the multi-agency investigation just the beginning for taking down those involved in illegal activity.

“I am confident that we can make the streets of Delaware, all of Delaware and in particular the city of Wilmington a safer place when we work together as we have today,” Jennings said.

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