A recent federal indictment brought to life exactly how the Philadelphia area is connected to Lycoming and Tioga counties through illegal drug trafficking.
And how difficult it is to detect and neuter that drug trafficking.
Six men, according to the indictment, distributed heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine in Williamsport using social media sites to maintain contact and share information about their activities with each other and with other individuals.
The gang of six allegedly traveled to and from Philadelphia in several vehicles to buy drugs that they brought back to two local houses 910 Wayne Avenue and 2135 W. Third St. They allegedly sold the drugs there to users and sellers in Tioga and Lycoming counties.
The gang also bought, sold, traded and possessed firearms in exchange for cash and drugs as part of the conspiracy, according to the indictment.
The ring was broken up when the six men were arrested in Philadelphia.
But it clearly was a well-oiled machine and it would be naive to think it is the only one of its kind operating between Philadelphia and our area.
If the six men did not have two local dwellings to operate out of, would they have been able to function as smoothly as they did? We don't know that for sure, but it certainly would have been more difficult.
As it stands now, until local authorities are successful in eliminating these nesting grounds, it will be an uphill battle stopping the illegal drug trafficking that is responsible for most crime problems in our region.