• PA and NJ law enforcement authorities have exposed a massve gun and drug ring
  • The investigation has been dubbed "Operation Zombie"
  • One of the guns recovered was used in the death of a two-year-old

Though it may sound like a cross between “The Walking Dead” and basically any Tom Clancy novel, “Operation Zombie” is the name that police have given to a Philadelphia and Camden-area drug and gun ring. Five people have been arrested in the ring.

Philly Voice reports that the defendants involved in “Operation Zombie” illegally sold weapons and drugs in both Philadelphia and Camden, and the ring was dismantled by Philadelphia and South Jersey authorities. During the raid, police unearthed 36 guns and 20 ounces of methamphetamine – the equivalent of 14,000 individual doses – as well as other drugs, including cocaine, heroin and marijuana. Pennsylvania and New Jersey Attorneys General Josh Shapiro and Gurbir Grewal announced charges against the five individuals on Monday.

One of the most tragic and alarming revelations of the raid is that a gun sold in the ring, an AK-47 semi-automatic rifle, was used in the killing of a two-year-old girl named Nikolette Rivera, who was shot while being held by her mother on the street in West Philadelphia.

The five people charged included Robert Crosley III, 32, also known as "Zombie," who allegedly managed the gun trafficking conspiracy, and Matthew Zoba, 38, who allegedly managed the drug trafficking conspiracy. Crosley and Zoba were arrested on Jan. 22 and Jan. 23, respectively.

Victoria Zipf, 33, Michael Snyder, 44, and Yuri Lyubinsky, 39, allegedly assisted with drug and gun sales. Zipf was arrested on Jan. 23. The arrests of Snyder and Lyubinsky are pending.

The bust was facilitated by the PA/NJ Gun Trafficking Initiative, an effort to prevent gun trafficking and criminal activity that crosses state lines. It was also aided by the FBI, DEA and ATFE

Grewal lamented the reality that many of the guns recovered had roots in NJ. "Four out of five crime guns in New Jersey originate in states with weaker gun laws, with the largest number coming from Pennsylvania, and we’re going to keep working together to arrest the traffickers who put our residents and our law enforcement officers at risk,” he said in a statement.

Zombie outbreak survival
Participants learn how to survive in the wild, including tips on how to make it through a zombie invastion at a "Zombie First Responder" course in Sandy, Oregon, March 11, 2012. Getty Images/Natalie Behring