Three Philadelphia Police officers ended up on the other side of the law Tuesday after they were indicted in a drug conspiracy case.
Officers Robert Snyder, Mark Williams and James Venziale allegedly used their positions in the police department to steal and then resell 300 grams of heroin from known drug dealer Miguel Santiago, says U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger.
Unfortunately, the person they allegedly sold the stolen drugs to was an undercover agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
According to the federal indictment, the defendants believed that the individual who was to receive the heroin was a money launderer and drug dealer.
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To carry out their plan, Officers Williams and Venziale allegedly staged the arrest of dealer Angel Ortiz following a courier drop off on May 14. During that arrest, the officers seized the heroin with the intention of reselling it, the indictment states.
The two officers received $6,000 for the seizure and fake arrest from Ortiz, according to the document.
Prosecutors also allege Officer Snyder’s wife Christal was involved in the crime. Through texting and phone calls, Christal reportedly passed information back and forth between Ortiz and the three officers.
She received an unnamed payment for her role in the conspiracy, the indictment said.
Officers Snyder, Williams and Venziale work in the city’s 25th and 39th Districts.
Santiago, from whom the heroin was allegedly stolen, faces charges of distributing and aiding and abetting the distribution of heroin. He is still on the run.
Venziale is accused of distributing and aiding and abetting the distribution of heroin, as well as conspiracy.
Robert and Christal Snyder face conspiracy charges and using a telephone to execute a drug conspiracy.
Young, Ortiz and Williams face conspiracy charges and distributing and aiding and abetting the distribution of heroin. They were also charged with using a telephone as part of their conspiracy.
If the defendants are found guilty, they will face maximum sentences ranging from 44 to 212 years in jail.