(Camden, NJ) – Last week, a demand reduction operation was conducted in South Camden. This operation targets those individuals attempting to purchase illegal narcotics. As a result of the operation, 28 individuals were arrested with 82 percent (23) traveling from the suburbs to purchase drugs in the city.
Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson noted the demand for narcotics by the surrounding region is fueling the drug trade.
"The suburban drug buyer continues to be the lifeblood of the city's open air drug markets. They are generally also responsible for the property and personal crimes in the neighborhoods from which they hail,” Thomson said. “By sharing this arrestee information with the surrounding police departments, hopefully these individuals can be interdicted prior to coming into Camden."
Similar to other operations, the vast majority of dealers have Camden addresses, an almost equally large percentage of buyers, more than 80 percent are from outside the city.
Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli said it is a known fact among law enforcement officials that residents from other municipalities and counties come to the County seat for drugs.
“Residents from throughout the region come to Camden City to patronize the open air drug markets and the Metro Division is sending them a very blunt message, this City is no longer open for this kind of business,” Cappelli said. “If you want to continue to fuel the narcotics trade in Camden County you will be arrested.”
It is well documented from other strategic operations that commerce linked to the open air drug markets within the City have been connected to suburban patronage. In addition, violent crime is also coming from these same street corners. These efforts are ongoing, as are our enforcement details. The spreadsheet below provides the names and information of those arrested so far.
All of those arrested were charged with Loitering to Commit a CDS Offense, which carries a penalty of a jail sentence of up to six months and a monetary fine of up to $1,000.
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THOSE CHARGE ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE.