South Philadelphia Drug Trafficking Ringleader Sentenced to 25 Years
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Antoine Clark, 31, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced to 25 years in prison, 10 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $1,700 fine by United States District Court Judge Gerald J. Pappert for multiple narcotics offenses related to his role in leading an almost around-the-clock drug delivery service for several years in South Philadelphia.
Clark and his codefendants, Gerald Spruell, 33, and Daniel Robinson, 37, were convicted after more than two weeks at trial of charges that included conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and distribution or possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and heroin.
Between 2014 and 2016, the defendant and his co-conspirators, including Spruell, Robinson, and several others who pleaded guilty to similar charges before trial, were known as the “Friends” and the “7th Street” drug trafficking group. Members of the group delivered crack cocaine and heroin to customers along the 7th Street corridor in South Philadelphia using a shared drug phone to take orders and communicate with customers; they would pass the phone off in shifts to keep their operation going almost 24 hours per day. During the course of the investigation, FBI agents intercepted phone calls and text messages from the phone, which documented the defendants’ illicit activities.
“Drug trafficking is an insidious, dangerous activity that ruins neighborhoods,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “Antoine Clark was an expert at it, and now he will pay the price -- to the tune of 25 years. That is the sort of just punishment that awaits drug dealers in federal court. My Office is determined to protect communities ravaged by the drug trade by investigating and destroying drug trafficking organizations like the 7th Street organization.”
“The FBI is committed to keeping communities safe from predators like Antoine Clark,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “Today’s sentence sends the message to drug organizations and gang members that if you traffick in illegal drugs, we will hunt you down and bring you to justice.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew Newcomer and Jason Grenell.