November 03, 2021
A former Montgomery County deputy sheriff was sentenced to more than a decade in federal prison for participating in a drug trafficking ring in the Philadelphia area and beyond.
David Landis, of East Norriton, was charged for his role in importing and distributing "deadly opioids." Landis was employed as deputy sheriff in the township for 10 years, from 2004 to 2014.
He was sentenced in the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia to 15 years in prison, with three years of supervised release. Additonally, he was ordered to pay a special assessment of $6,300, The Pottstown Mercury reported.
Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said an investigation uncovered illegal drug manufacturers in China who were sending the U.S. "deadly opioids."
“The fact that this defendant — a former law enforcement officer — would help them do so is a travesty. Landis sent deadly drugs across this country and abroad, with no regard for the health or safety of others," Williams said. "The community will be a safer place with him behind bars for the foreseeable future."
Landis pleaded guilty in federal court in 2018 to conspiracy to import controlled substances, possession, 58 counts of distribution and other related charges.
One of the distribution counts involved the distribution of a synthetic opioid to an individual which resulted in serious bodily injury. Other distribution counts are related to his distribution of fentanyl to numerous individuals.
Federal authorities said that "numerous" people overdosed with the same substances he distributed in their system, KYW reported.
“David Landis was formerly in a position of public trust and turned to distributing deadly drugs throughout Montgomery County and beyond, which in some cases resulted in an overdose,” said Brian A. Michael, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations, Philadelphia.
An investigation found that Landis conspired and agreed to distribute thousands of packages of narcotics from early 2016 to March 2017. Federal authorities alleged that he worked with multiple co-conspirators in China as well. They were charged separately and are believed to be at-large.
Customers would place orders online with the alleged co-conspirators who would then email the order to Landis. They would ship the substances to Landis who would then distribute it to the customers across the United States and other countries, including Canada, Chile, Senegal and Spain, court papers showed.
Federal authorities said Landis mailed approximately 2,900 packages of controlled substances in less than a year.