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November 14, 2017

Philly police officer arrested in alleged drug conspiracy with Baltimore detective

A Philadelphia police officer was arrested at his home Tuesday morning on charges he allegedly conspired with a Baltimore detective to sell cocaine and heroin lifted from crime scenes, federal prosecutors announced. 

Eric Troy Snell, a 33-year-old officer hired by the Philadelphia Police Department in 2014, allegedly worked with his brother and Baltimore police detective Jamell Rayam to sell the stolen cocaine and heroin, according to an indictment handed down by the U.S. Attorney's Office. 

Snell met Rayam while attending the Baltimore City Police Department training academy and remained on that city's police force until March 2008, investigators say.

Between October 2016 and June 2017, while Snell was assigned to Philadelphia's 35th District, prosecutors allege he and Rayam discussed plans to sell narcotics seized by members of Baltimore's Gun Trace Task Force. 

On Oct. 3, 2016, court documents allege Rayam and Baltimore Police Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, joined by other detectives on the GTTT, engaged in a high-speed police chase that ended in a crash near Mondawmin Mall in Baltimore. Police reportedly retrieved 9 ounces of cocaine the driver had thrown from his window prior to the crash. 

Jenkins, also facing charges related to the investigation, allegedly told Rayam to sell most of the cocaine and give him proceeds, according to prosecutors, and Rayam agreed. Snell, after learning Rayam had obtained cocaine, allegedly asked Rayam to give it to him instead of submitting it as evidence to the Baltimore Police Department, authorities say.

On Oct. 20, 2017, prosecutors say Rayam drove to Philadelphia to meet with Snell and his brother. The three allegedly discussed prices for the cocaine and arranged for Snell's brother to sell the drugs. Court documents allege Snell also agreed to sell 80 grams of heroin Rayam had obtained from Jenkins. 

According to the federal indictment, Snell allegedly deposited thousands of dollars of cash in Rayam's bank account from drug sales and paid Rayam additional cash during a meeting on Nov. 11, 2016. 

Rayam eventually was arrested and then spoke with Snell on a recorded jail phone system, prosecutors say. Snell allegedly assured Rayam that Snell's brother had not cooperated with investigators and urged Rayam to "say less" on the recorded phone line. He also allegedly told Rayam to "stand tall," adding that he would "keep an eye" on Rayam's kids, investigators say.

Rayam perceived Snell's comments as a threat to Rayam's family, according to authorities.

Rayam has since pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and admitted to multiple robberies, drug trafficking, and overtime fraud. Jenkins pleaded not guilty and will go to trial in January. 

Snell is charged with drug possession and conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine. The Philadelphia Police Department has suspended him for 30 days with intent to dismiss. If convicted, Snell faces up to 20 years in prison.