A Philadelphia man has been convicted of charges he conspired with his Montgomery Township brother in operating a cocaine trafficking ring that targeted Montgomery, Chester and Philadelphia counties.
Michael F. Dennis, 36, of Earl Street, was convicted by a Montgomery County Court jury on Friday of charges of corrupt organizations, possession of cocaine, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, conspiracy and criminal use of a communications facility in connection with incidents that occurred between November 2008 and April 2011. Dennis, a personal trainer, is the brother of Anthony Dennis Sr., 41, of the 100 block of Thames Drive, Montgomery Township, who pleaded guilty to the same charges last week.
With the charges, authorities alleged the Dennis brothers engaged in the sale of large quantities of cocaine to various individuals including cocaine dealers in Montgomery County. Anthony Dennis operated the “Heads Up” barbershop in the 900 block of Upper Gulph Road near Wayne, Chester County, during the time he also operated the corrupt organization, authorities alleged.
Assistant District Attorney Jason Whalley called the verdict “a tremendous victory” for the citizens of Montgomery, Chester and Philadelphia counties.
“Different law enforcement agencies from the DEA, county detectives, local officers and Tredyffrin Township, have helped take down this drug trafficking organization and thanks to the jury’s verdict, the Dennis brothers’ drug trafficking business is closed for good,” said Whalley, reacting to the jury’s verdict, which came after 11 hours of deliberations over two days.
Two other men, Patrick Wedderburn, 33, of the 400 block of Orchard Road, Upper Merion, and Karl K. Myers, 37, of Philadelphia, who prosecutors characterized as “middlemen” in the drug ring, also were convicted by the jury of corrupt organizations and numerous drug-related charges.
“Both worked for Michael and Anthony in this organization, getting cocaine from Anthony and delivering it to others. I would say they are middlemen in the organization with their own customers,” Whalley alleged.
Michael Dennis was represented at trial by defense lawyer James Lloyd while Wedderburn was represented by defense lawyer Bruce Wolf and Myers was represented by defense lawyer Richard Desipio.
Judge William R. Carpenter, who presided over the five-day trial, revoked bail for all three men and they will be detained at the county jail to await sentencing. The men potentially face decades in prison on the charges.
“They are all convicted felons facing considerable state prison sentences and the commonwealth will be considering lengthy state prison sentences for all involved,” said Whalley, who was assisted at trial by prosecutor Tonya Lupinacci.
The Dennis brothers, Wedderburn and Myers were among 27 people arrested in 2011 as part of an investigation dubbed “Operation Heads Up,” in connection with their alleged involvement in the corrupt organization.
During the investigation of the Dennis brothers, simultaneous raids by 72 law enforcement officers at 21 locations in the three counties on May 18, 2011, resulted in the seizure of four pounds of cocaine with a street value of $204,800, 14 vehicles, a 19-foot-long fishing boat from a storage facility in Collegeville, more than $76,000 in cash and 12 firearms, according to authorities.
The investigation began in November 2008 in Tredyffrin as township police and members of the Chester County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Task Force investigated the barbershop as an alleged hub of the cocaine trafficking operation.
Authorities alleged the Dennis brothers were engaged in the sale of large quantities of cocaine to various individuals including cocaine dealers in Montgomery County.
The arrests were the culmination of a wiretap investigation into the activities of those involved in the drug ring.