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Philly man admits to operating multi-state drug enterprise


MARTINSBURG — A Philadelphia man has admitted to operating a multi-state organized drug trafficking business dubbed the “19th Street Enterprise.”

The US Attorney’s Office reports Christopher Arthur Jones, also known as “Smooth,” pleaded guilty this week to a racketeering enterprise (RICO) conspiracy and fentanyl distribution charges. Jones, 38, was the leader of the organization, directing members of the enterprise to sell drugs, commit acts of violence, launder money, and commit fraud in West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The business was based in Philadelphia, but Jones had drug houses in Martinsburg and elsewhere.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Trumble heard testimony this week that Jones ordered armed robberies at residences in West Virginia and Maryland to help fund his enterprise. The homeowners were targeted because of perceived wealth.

The organization was selling about 100 grams of fentanyl per week and laundering at least $500 per day from a house on Crooked Way in Martinsburg. Jones also committed COVID fraud, receiving COVID relief funds under false pretenses.

As a part of the plea agreement, Jones has agreed to forfeit any proceeds from the crimes, as well as his Philadelphia property, which was used as the stash house for his operation. Jones is facing at least 10 years and up to life in federal prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.