PHILADELPHIA – Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Ricardo Carrion, a.k.a. “PR,” age 41, of Philadelphia, PA, was convicted at trial of all counts with which he was charged, including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possession with intent to distribute crack and heroin, arising from his leadership role in supplying a drug trafficking organization operating on the 3100 block of Weymouth Street, steps from McPherson Square and just two blocks from the notorious intersection of Kensington & Allegheny Avenues in the Kensington section of Philadelphia.
This case originated from a joint investigation into the scourge of drug trafficking and overdoses in the Kensington area conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Philadelphia Police Department. During the investigation, the agencies utilized covert surveillance to observe thousands of drug customers purchasing narcotics on the 3100 block of Weymouth Street, in effect, an open-air drug market. Street dealers were observed utilizing stash houses on the block to store narcotics, including the target drug crew’s signature stamped heroin called “Funeral” so named to advertise its potency and lethalness to addicted consumers.
After a series of search warrants were executed in 2019, the DEA developed information that the defendant was the supplier of narcotics in this organization. Covert surveillance showed him repeatedly carrying large bags into stash houses. In June of that same year, the DEA and PPD initiated a traffic stop of a cab in which Carrion was the sole passenger. At his feet, law enforcement recovered a bag containing over 3,300 flip top containers of crack cocaine. Evidence presented at trial showed that Carrion used code words including “lenta,” which translates to “slow” in English, and “hard cola” to discuss the heroin he ordered for the street dealers. Prosecutors also presented evidence that the defendant supplied thousands and thousands of servings of heroin and crack cocaine to this city block from 2018 until the DEA and PPD dismantled his drug operation.
“This years-long drug trafficking enterprise impacted more than just this one block; it left a path of destruction across Kensington and throughout Philadelphia,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “This trial conviction is one more example of this Office’s dedicated effort to take down prolific drug dealers pedaling poison to those suffering from addiction, and we remain committed to cutting off the supply of deadly drugs into our communities.”
“No area in Pennsylvania has been more disproportionately affected by the ravages of the opioid epidemic than Kensington, particularly the area around McPherson Square where Carrion supplied and distributed heroin and crack cocaine,” said Thomas Hodnett, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division. “Carrion’s criminal activities ruined the quality of life for the residents who live in Kensington and destroyed the lives of those struggling with substance use disorder. His federal drug conviction will ensure that he serves a lengthy prison sentence for his drug-trafficking activities.”
The case was investigated by Drug Enforcement Administration and the Philadelphia Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jason D. Grenell and Derek E. Hines.