Former 39th District police officer guilty of drug charges

PHILADELPHIA – Zachary Young, 52, and Mark Williams, 27, both of Philadelphia, were convicted today of a drug conspiracy in which a phony arrest was orchestrated in order to steal drugs from a drug dealer.  At the time of the crime, Williams was a Philadelphia Police Officer assigned to the 39th District.  Zachary Young was a heroin distributor.  In April 2010, Young and co-defendant Angel Ortiz hatched a plan to steal heroin from their supplier, Miguel Santiago.  The scheme involved a phony arrest by Williams and his co-defendant, then-officer James Venziale, orchestrated by then-officer Robert Snyder and his wife, Christal Snyder.  After the phony arrest, the defendants then distributed the heroin to a person they thought was a drug dealer and money launderer, but who was actually an undercover Special Agent from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

In addition to the conspiracy, Young was also convicted of one count of distribution of heroin, and one count of using a telephone in furtherance of a drug conspiracy. Williams was additionally convicted of possession with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin withing 1,000 feet of a school, distributing and aiding and abetting the distribution of heroin, using a telephone in furtherance of a drug conspiracy, conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, attempted Hobbs Act robbery, and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

From a press release issued this afternoon by the US Attorney’s Office.

The 39th District covers lower West Germantown and East Falls as well as parts of Nicetown and Tioga.

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