Heroin-trafficking ring shut down in Delaware

     (Shirley Min/WHYY)

    (Shirley Min/WHYY)

    With 46 arrests and 46 convictions, “Operation Son Sun,” brought down one of the largest heroin trafficking organizations in Delaware history.

    Authorities said the ring moved 1,600 bundles of heroin a week,  worth about $2 million annually.

    “Son Sun,” was the street name of one of the defendants, that included street-level dealers and the kingpins. 

    During a news conference, Thursday, Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn credited the use of wiretaps, informants and good old-fashioned police work for shutting down the operation that stretched from the city of Wilmington throughout New Castle County.

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    “The successful resolutions to these cases sends a strong message that we will seek to prosecute not just the street-level dealers, but the organizational heads of drug-dealing operations in our state,” said Denn, who pointed out how difficult it can be to prosecute the bosses of these drug rings.  

    Denn continued, “These operations are set up to try to shield people at the top from responsibility. And in most instances they don’t touch the drugs. And yet it is very important for us to hold those people at the top responsible.”

    State prosecutor Mark Denney said taking down shot callers Andrew “Rock” Lloyd, 32, and Antoine “Flock” Miller, 35, both of Wilmington, took every weapon in the arsenal. The defendants were sentenced to 25- and 20-year sentences, respectively.

    “Andrew “Rock” Lloyd in many ways was savvy, and he was smart and he was arrested without having a speck of heroin on him, not a single firearm in his possession. And he’s doing 25 years in jail because of the level of investigation that was built,” Denney said.

    “Operation Son Sun is a great example of exactly what law enforcement is supposed to be doing,” said Denn, flanked by state and local police officers, federal agents and state prosecutors who represented the multiple law enforcement agencies who helped build the case.

    The investigation began two years ago in Wilmington, Denn said. Police officers connected the dots linking drug-related violence throughout the city to Lloyd. Eventually, Wilmington police discovered Delaware State Police and DEA were also looking into Lloyd.

    “This investigation is a true example of how both federal and state partners working together to identify and dismantle a violent trafficking organization that’s been plaguing communities for years,” said Shawn Ellerman, DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge. “No longer can we be operating individual silos, we have to share information, especially intelligence.”

    “This is coming again. There’s more of these in the pipeline, there’s gonna be more of these down the road,” Denney warned. “Organizations that think they can beat the system by watching TV shows and learning keep your distance from the guns, keep your distance from the drugs firsthand, they’re wrong.”

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