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Dizzying rise, fall of a Philly drug lord

Sunday news feature offers insight into the new urban drug underground

I could say quite a bit here about how prohibition creates insanely inflated markets in urban areas, but why? The numbers speak for themselves.

[Benjamin] Ton was arrested on charges of heading a $50 million drug operation that in just two years had brought nearly 10 tons of high-quality marijuana and more than 300,000 ecstasy pills to the Philadelphia area from Canada, a quietly growing source for those illegal drugs in the United States.

At the time of his arrest, Ton was a major player in the Philadelphia region's thriving drug market, an industry with at least $1 billion in illegal street sales annually, authorities say.

The rise and fall of Benjamin Ton, who has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing, offers a glimpse into that highly lucrative drug underworld and a look at a new breed of American gangster.

This story is also interesting in how well it details the quantity and quality of merchandise being sold through this operation, including the infamous "Purple Haze". No, really.

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Tags : smuggle smuggling gang gangster lord
Posted on: 2007-02-11 13:10:13