On Wednesday, Prosecutors charged the man they say bought the semi-automatic handgun that Andrew Thomas later used to kill Plymouth Township Police Officer Brad Fox.
Police say Thomas shot Fox, a seven-year veteran of the Plymouth Township Police who previously served two tours of duty in Iraq, after a traffic stop in Conshohocken last month. On Wednesday, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announced the arrest of Michael Henry, from the Mantua section of Philadelphia, who prosecutors say forged documents to buy the gun that killed Fox.
After shooting Fox, Thomas used the same gun to kill himself, according to authorities.
Thomas previously served time for forgery and assault on a police officer. He was also the prime suspect in the disappearance of his fiancé Maria Procopio in 1999. While investigating that disappearance, Thomas led them to a cache of weapons in Whitemarsh Township.
Due to his criminal history, Thomas couldn't legally buy guns.
"What we have here is a situation where an individual, who was legally able to purchase firearms, over the course of several months -- on eight different days -- purchased nine firearms and then gave those firearms to someone was unable legally to possess them," Ferman said. "We call that a straw purchase."
Henry told investigators that between April 10 to July 31 of this year that he bought Thomas seven handguns handguns and two rifles -- getting $500 for each weapon plus the cost of purchase -- at gun stores in Montgomery and Chester Counties, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors say that one of those nine guns included in those alleged purchases was the 9mm Beretta used to kill Fox and injure his K-9 Nick. They say Henry bought the gun on May 30.
At Wednesday's press conference, Ferman begged anyone who knows the whereabouts of the other eight guns allegedly purchased by Henry and/or that was in contact with Thomas in the past two years to contact county detectives at (610) 278-3368.
According to court documents, Henry, 30, faces nine counts of making a false written statement, nine counts of selling firearms and seven related counts. Unable to post $1 million bail, Henry remained in county jail ahead of Tuesday's preliminary hearing.
Throughout his criminal history, Thomas has used a variety of aliases, according to police. Investigators say Thomas used the following names:
- Ronald Blackshear
- Robert Byer
- Garry Murray
- Howard Bettey
- Robert Diggans
- Eric Piggans
- Jeremiah Hough
- David Bracken
- Alan Weston Clark
- George Dyer
- John Francis
- Joseph O'Conner
- Ronald Woodland