Three Phila. officers charged in drug theft plot

Jul. 14, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - July 13, 2010 -- Three Philadelphia police officers plotted with drug dealers and staged a traffic stop and drug seizure in a scheme to steal $15,000 worth of heroin from a supplier and sell the drug, federal authorities charged.

Officers Mark Williams, James Venziale and Robert Snyder were named in a 14-count indictment announced Tuesday, along with Snyder's wife and three suspected drug dealers. The plan went awry when the officers tried to sell the 300 grams of heroin through an undercover federal agent, Assistant U.S. Attorney Virginia Gibson said.

The police officers and two alleged drug dealers were arrested this week, along with Snyder's wife Christal. All but the wife were being held pending detention hearings later this week, prosecutors said. It was not immediately clear if the officers had lawyers.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said he would quickly begin the process of terminating them.


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