Officers receive award for million-dollar drug bust

Seven police officers who carried out a million-dollar drug bust in Fox Chase last month have been named Officers of the Month for January in the 2nd Police District.

Partners Jerald Furey and Sean King headed up the investigation with assistance by Joseph Burke, Kevin Doerr, Scott Gill and Anthony Rosselli. Sgt. Matthew Lowe supervised the investigation, which began when someone anonymously tipped off police to suspected narcotics trafficking on the 1000 block of Ripley St.

Furey and King conducted surveillance on the block on Jan. 5 when they saw two men exiting a house at about 10:33 p.m. The men placed a purple duffel bag into the trunk of a black Mercedes-Benz, started the car and returned to the house. At about 11 p.m., one of the men reemerged from the house carrying a black trash bag and a shotgun. He got into a tan Toyota SUV. The second suspect also exited the house, retrieved the purple duffel bag from the Mercedes and placed it into the Toyota. The two men left the block separately in their respective vehicles.

Burke and Rosselli stopped the Toyota on the 7300 block of Oxford Ave., spotted the shotgun in the driver’s compartment and arrested the driver. He was identified as Phi Lam, 25, of the Ripley Street address. Police allegedly found three sealed bundles of marijuana in the duffel bag and 10 more bundles inside the trash bag. Lam was carrying $300 cash.

Doerr and Gill stopped the Mercedes on the 7100 block of Rising Sun Ave. and recovered $2,600 cash from the driver, Battaan Tran, 28, of the 100 block of Holme Ave., Elkins Park.

Officers from the 2nd district and the Narcotics Field Unit returned to the Ripley Street house and obtained a search warrant. Inside, they allegedly found 94 more sealed bundles of marijuana. In all, police seized 119.3 pounds of marijuana valued at $1,082,300.

Lam and Tran were charged with drug possession, possession with intent to deliver and firearms violations. ••