Pubdate: Mon, 28 Jan 2002
Source: Inquirer (PA)
Copyright: 2002 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc
Author: Brendan January, Inquirer Suburban Staff


CAMDEN - More than 50 drug suspects were arrested Friday night in a law 
enforcement operation that involved about 30 officers from the city, Camden 
County, and the county Prosecutor's Office, authorities said.

The operation, in which police posed as heroin dealers, was set up at Fifth 
and Bailey Streets in North Camden.

Most of the 57 people arrested were released on summonses, said Greg 
Reinert, spokesman for the Prosecutor's Office. Charges ranged from 
possession of drugs to loitering in a known drug area.

The loitering charge generally applied to those who had come along on a 
drug buy but had not actually bought heroin, authorities said.

"As far as operations go, it's not unusual," Reinert said. "It's a tactic 
that's used pretty frequently. You have [operations] that go after dealers, 
and you go after suppliers of dealers, and then you go after the buyers."

He said most of those arrested had come from outside Camden and had 
traveled fairly deep into North Camden.

"Obviously the suburbanites are going deeper into Camden," he said. 
"They're going further in to get what they want."

Reinert said one purpose of going after the buyers was to dissuade those 
who may be just starting to use heroin. Two of the purchasers, he said, 
were 19 years old.

Heroin is "a horribly addictive drug that destroys lives, and if we can 
turn a few people away from it, [the operation] is a success," he said.
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