Drug Raid Connected to NYC Gang | News
Several raids all over the city of Scranton Wednesday sent dozens of people to jail.
Investigators announced Thursday it was part of a much bigger drug network linked to New York City.
Authorities said the ring consisted of two groups in Scranton that worked out of the Sun Hotel on Cedar Avenue and other locations. The members would sell and run drugs back and forth to New York City answering to bosses in the Big Apple.
Raids all over the city of Scranton ended up with 36 people arrested.
Authorities said those people were all part of an elaborate drug operation with ties to the Bloods gang in New York City.
The state attorney general, along with the Scranton police chief and the Lackawanna County district attorney's office held a news conference laying out exactly what kind of operation was dismantled.
"This investigation known as Operation Sunset focused on a network of drug dealers and runners responsible for the distribution and sale of an estimated three quarters of a million dollars worth of crack cocaine, cocaine, LSD and marijuana," said Acting Attorney General Bill Ryan.
Investigators said the shooting death of an active member in 2010, Michael Jackson, 24, from Yonkers, New York sparked the investigation into the ring.
Jackson's body was found in a wooded area off Saginaw Street in south Scranton. The county coroner said he died from multiple gunshot wounds.
Authorities said the drug ring was run by two main groups from New York City, considered the bosses and suppliers of the illegal drugs.
The two groups had dealers and runners that would work out of Scranton, and answer to the top guys down in New York City.
Scranton Police Chief Dan Duffy said though this ring was disrupted, it has not the end.
"We're going to reach out to other law enforcement agencies and we are going to continue to arrest people who are out committing crimes, so I want to let the criminal element know, be warned," said Chief Duffy.
Authorities said the drug ring, which was run out of several locations including at the Sun Hotel, worked very much like any large business with bosses, a human resources position held by Rashad Roper and a high level of customer service.
Roper would recruit members in Scranton, answer complaints and fix problems with the other group.
Members were also ordered to keep a high level of customer service.
"Gang members were scolded for keeping customers waiting, cautioned about maintaining the quality of crack cocaine and encouraged to market and promote new items to help promote, "Pop" or increase sales," Ryan added.
Authorities said of the 36 people arrested, the majority were from Scranton.
Clarence Spady, 49, was arrested for being part of the ring, possessing and running cocaine. Not unfamiliar to the spotlight, Spady, played lead guitar with his band All Star Blues in 1992.
Kathryn Lachance, 50, was also arrested
Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty said getting these people off the streets has made a huge impact. "We're not done. We're going to be pushing it harder and harder, and to make sure we rid this forever," Doherty vowed.
Authorities said there are still six people on the run, but that two of the top guys in New York City have been arrested and will soon be brought to Scranton to face charges.
All the other people arrested are facing several drug charges each.