To the Philadelphia drug courier, it must have seemed like extraordinarily bad luck: A police cruiser appeared with its lights flashing moments after the 300 grams of heroin allegedly was exchanged on a street, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The suspect was handcuffed and driven away.
Neither luck nor good police work had anything to do with what happened. According to a new federal indictment, the arrest was staged by police officers who were working with a drug dealer in a scheme to steal heroin and sell it. Instead of booking the suspect, Officers Mark Williams and James Venziale allegedly let him go. A federal drug agent, posing as a dealer, was allowed to drive away with the heroin. John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, the department’s largest union, said the officers’ alleged actions are “a disgrace.” “We have a bunch of good officers out there on the streets every day, risking their lives,” McNesby said. “This casts a dark cloud over all of them.”