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Philadelphia Police Busted in Heroin Ring Deserve Life Sentences

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water cooler                logoNormally when you hear about police officers getting caught up in drug dealing it's in a movie.  American Gangster, which came out in 2008 probably covered this angle better than any film in history. 

Well, an American Gangster-style plot hit the Philadelphia police department when three Philly police officers were busted for dealing stolen heroin. 

Robert Snyder, 30, of the 25th Police District, Mark Williams, 27, and James Venziale, 32, both of the 39th District, were arrested on charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin and related offenses.

Philadelphia is finally starting to turn the tide on violence and this puts a serious dent in the Philadelphia Police Department's public image. 

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said he became aware of the investigation about two months ago. The three officers, he said, had previously been investigated by police Internal Affairs officers, but for minor matters.

"We are in the process of terminating all three," Ramsey said. "Those three are history, but that will be the least of their worries."

The three cops allegedly helped steal three hundred grams of heroin (with a street value of more than $100,000) and gave it to an undercover agent to sell.

The Philadelphia PD and Mayor Nutter must make an example of these rogue police officers and go for maximum punishment.  An even worse situation went down in New Orleans shortly Hurricane Katrina when six police officers murdered civilians on a bridge and attempted to cover it up.  They may end up getting the death penalty.

Just how should you prosecute police officers who engage in such depraved, sordid behavior? When the average citizen gets busted for heroin and sentenced they're looking a minimum of 20 to 30 years in prison.  Here we have police officers whom the public is supposed to trust and then they bust drug dealers, steal their stash, and then profit from it. 

Hate to say it folks, but these men should do life in prison for this.  If the average citizen gets 30 years, then a police officer should get double or triple that.  Do I think they'll get life in prison? Probably not. 

An NYPD officer was caught selling crack that he stole from a drug dealer and took a plea bargain.  This was just last year.  Details of the plea weren't made public, but you can be certain he didn't get the maximum punishment.
And, just recently an LA cop was busted for selling meth.  And, he's looking at a minimum sentence of 10 years.
One recent case involving a Philadelphia police who ran afoul of the law involves Malik Snell, who was convicted in June 2009 for taking $40,000 in cash from a South Philly kingpin during a bogus police car stop.  He is serving a 30-year federal sentence.   In all liklihood Snyder, Williams, and Venziale will receive similar sentences.
Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com