NEW JERSEY 101.5

A violent narcotics distribution network in Camden, with ties to Mexican drug cartels, has been busted after a nine-month investigation, according to New Jersey law enforcement officials.

Operation North Pole (NJ Attorney General)

Acting Attorney General John Hoffman announced Thursday that a total of 47 individuals, including three brothers who allegedly led the ring, were charged with first-degree racketeering.

"This highly organized network, led by the Urbina brothers, allegedly sold hundreds of thousands of dollars a month in heroin and cocaine," Hoffman noted while announcing the results of 'Operation North Pole.'

Two of the brothers, Edwin and Omar, have been arrested; the other, Edward, remains at large, along with a dozen other people allegedly connected to the drug network.

The network was run in the area surrounding 4th and York Streets in North Camden, authorities said.

"Associates of this criminal enterprise allegedly rented blocks or street corners from the Urbina family, allowing them to sell drugs in those areas," Hoffman explained. "In return, the Urbinas provided drugs and they provided protection to what we would refer to as the 'tenants' of these street corners."

Hoffman said the brothers exercised their control through intimidation and violence. Search warrants resulted in the seizure of six guns, cocaine, 11 vehicles and more than $218,000 in cash.

The brothers allegedly relied on suppliers who obtained heroin and cocaine from Mexican drug cartels.