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Alleged Philly drug dealer held after second Atlantic City arrest

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A Philadelphia man accused of dealing drugs in Atlantic City just weeks after his pretrial release on similar charges was ordered held Thursday.

Javon McGirt, 26, was seen conducting multiple apparent drug deals on the city's troubled South Florida Avenue on July 6, six weeks after he was charged with similar crimes, according to the charges.

When officers approached, he and other individuals ran, leaving a fanny pack along the way.

That fanny pack contained 125 wax folds determined to contained fentanyl, 145 baggies of crack cocaine, a baggie of methamphetamine, $421, a phone and McGirt's identification, according to the affidavit read in court.

Defense attorney Andrew Imperiale questioned why — if police were able to immediately tie his client to the bag of drugs — he was not arrested until four months later.

McGirt was making his required check-ins with the court by phone under the conditions of his May 25 release, Imperiale noted.

"If the alleged identification found was my client's, he was easily reachable," Imperiale said.

He also said McGirt claims his identification was stolen two days before the incident while he was on the beach for the Fourth of July.

The judge instead wondered why the Philadelphia man — who was able to follow the conditions of his prior release from his home state — was back in Atlantic City just weeks after his release.

"He's back in Atlantic City on Florida Avenue, which has been a very active street for drug distribution," Judge William Miller said. "He had no need to be down here."

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The public safety assessment used to help determine detention under bail reform recommended McGirt be released with more conditions.

But Assistant Prosecutor Paige Cramer successfully argued that the assessment did not accurately reflect McGirt's dangerousness to the community.

"Drug distribution is a scourge on the community," Miller said in holding McGirt. "You're just putting stuff out there and you're poisoning people."

He said the prevalence of drugs works against the recovery efforts being made by organizations within the city.

McGirt also faces additional charges stemming from his arrest on the outstanding warrant Nov. 4, which included summonses for new drug charges. He also was charged with several motor vehicle infractions at that time, including driving with a suspended license or registration, speeding and failure to maintain lane, court records show.

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Lynda Cohen

BreakingAC founder who previously worked in newspapers for more than two decades. She is an NJPA award-winner and was a Stories of Atlantic City fellow.

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