Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Pumping The Block: The Kaboni Savage Drug Kingpin Trial In Philadelphia
Veteran organized crime reporter George Anastasia is covering the Kaboni Savage federal trial in Philadelphia for Bigtrial.net.
They called it "pumping the block" or "getting the block jumping."
It was the underworld equivalent of a retail "loss leader." The idea was to give something away for free in order to attract customers.
In this case, the product was drugs -- cocaine, marijuana and a methamphetamine concoction known as "wet."
Lamont Lewis had taken over a corner at 8th and Venango Streets in North Philadelphia, government witness Eugene Coleman said from the witness stand, and the kingpin he worked for, Kaboni Savage, decided they had to do something to "get the block jumping."
"We did this to let people know there was drugs on that corner," said Coleman, who took the stand this morning in the racketeering-murder trial of Savage and three co-defendants.Coleman was a key Savage associate through most of the 1990s before pleading guilty to drug trafficking charges and agreeing to testify for the government. Prosecutors contend that Savage ordered the October 2004 firebombing of Coleman's mother's home on North Sixth Street in retaliation.
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