Law enforcement agents busted a major drug operation ran by a father and son duo in Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood, Attorney Josh Shapiro announced Thursday.
In all, 23 people were arrested and charged in the sting, the attorney general’s office said.
Those arrests include Curtis Coates Sr. and his son Curtis Coates, Jr., Shapiro said. The father-son team is accused of "renting" city block corners to drug dealers in Kensington for profit.
The son collected the money for his father who charged dealers as much as $3,000 for a street corner per week, authorities explained.
"Like a landlord who might rent an apartment, this father-son team made their money by leasing our communities’ corners to criminals," Shapiro, a second-term Democrat, told reporters at a Thursday morning news conference.
At least 12 Kensington street corners were sold and operated to the highest bidder, the attorney general said. It's estimated Coates Sr. was making $20,000 to $30,000 a week off the "leases."
"Understand these corners aren’t meant for the drug dealers," Shapiro said. "These corners are where our children wait for buses."
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The six-month investigation, conducted by the attorney general’s Kensington Initiative, also resulted in the seizure of nearly 90,000 doses of heroin/fentanyl, 47 grams of meth, 29 firearms -- including three assault rifles -- and $179,000 in cash.
The Kensington Initiative is a partnership between local, state and federal law enforcement to track down major criminal drug activity in Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood.
On Wednesday, the attorney general's office said they executed their largest one-day operation since the launch of the Kensington Initiative in 2018.
Authorities from several different agencies, including Homeland Security and the FBI, executed more than 40 search warrants on affiliated properties and vehicles. No one was injured, Shapiro said.