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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Former Police Officer Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Robbery

Former Police Officer Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Robbery
FBI PRESS RELEASE - November 10, 2009

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Malik Snell, 37, of Philadelphia, was sentenced today to 30 years in prison for an attempted home-invasion robbery in Pottstown, and the robbery of a large-scale drug dealer, Ricardo McKendrick, in Philadelphia, announced United States Attorney Michael L. Levy. Both robberies were carried out in December 2007. Snell, a former Philadelphia police officer, was convicted June 9, 2009, of Hobbs Act robbery, attempted Hobbs Act robbery, conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge R. Barclay Surrick ordered Snell to pay restitution in the amount of $7,261.04, a $400 special assessment, and serve five years of supervised release. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Philadelphia Police Department, and the Pottstown Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Leo R. Tsao, Eric B. Henson, and Kathy Stark.

Former cop gets 30 years for home invasion
The Pottstown Mercury by Carl Hessler, Jr. - November 11, 2009

PHILADELPHIA, PA — A former Philadelphia police officer will be behind bars for several decades in connection with a Dec. 16, 2007, home invasion robbery in Pottstown that ended with a car chase into Berks. Malik R. Snell, 37, of Philadelphia, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 30 years in a federal prison, to be followed by five years' probation, on charges of conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce and a weapons offense in connection with the home invasion and a separate drug-related robbery of a drug kingpin in Philadelphia, which involved $40,000. U.S. District Court Judge R. Barclay Surrick also ordered Snell to pay $7,261 in restitution. Snell, who had been a police officer since 1996, was convicted of the charges in June during a third trial. Two previous trials in October 2008 and April 2009 ended in mistrials when jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked and couldn't decide the case. While federal prosecutor Leo Tsao sought a lengthy prison sentence against Snell, defense lawyer John I. McMahon Jr. asked the judge to temper any punishment doled out to Snell. "He had exemplary military service in the Marine Corps serving in Somalia. He had been a good police officer," McMahon, of Norristown, said on Snell's behalf. "He grew up in the projects of South Philadelphia in a very crime-ridden neighborhood." McMahon said despite Snell's poor upbringing, he was honorably discharged from the military and became a police officer. "There is another side to him, other than that which committed these crimes," said McMahon. "I think he's in shock. I think he's devastated, mainly for his family. It's very unfortunate for his family." Snell pleaded for leniency from the judge, saying he wanted to be free one day to be a good role model for his children, including twin sons who were born while he was incarcerated. "I believe Mr. Snell had developed a serious gambling problem which led to this activity," McMahon added.

At the trial in April, the jury did acquit Snell of two other charges — witness retaliation and a weapons offense — in connection with allegations he threatened the lives of two alleged drug dealers who cooperated with investigators against him. Snell had been under federal detention since the original indictment was filed against him in April 2008. Authorities alleged Snell, who was charged along with two other men in connection with the Pottstown incident, was the getaway driver. But Snell testified during all three trials that he didn't know anything about plans for a robbery and that he was simply giving his brother-in-law, Tyree Markeen Aimes, a ride to Pottstown to see another person about some money. McMahon argued the prosecution's case was based on the testimony of "corrupt and polluted sources," admitted criminals who cooperated with prosecutors in order to gain lenient sentences for their own crimes. Aimes, 25, and Stephon A. Gibson, 22, both of Philadelphia, each previously pleaded guilty to a firearms charge and conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery in connection with the Pottstown incident. Aimes and Gibson testified against Snell at one or more of the trials. The trio originally had been charged by Montgomery County authorities. However, the case was transferred to federal court, where penalties upon conviction are more severe. All three men are accused of taking part in the Dec. 16, 2007, incident.

Snell and Aimes, who are brothers-in-law, were charged after they were involved in a high-speed chase along westbound Route 422 after the home invasion that occurred inside an apartment on South Roland Street. Snell drove at speeds of 130 mph along Route 422 before crashing his sports utility vehicle into another car at the intersection of Gibraltar Road in Exeter, authorities alleged. Snell and Aimes were apprehended in the yards of nearby homes after the crash. Authorities alleged Gibson didn't get into Snell's Dodge Durango after the Pottstown home invasion and Snell and Aimes left Pottstown without Gibson. Gibson and Aimes allegedly forced their way into the South Roland Street apartment at about 11:45 p.m. and assaulted a male occupant and choked a female occupant, using a cord from an iron to tie the woman's hands. One of the intruders then allegedly ransacked the apartment, court papers indicate. In one of his statements to police, Aimes claimed he, Snell and Gibson went to Pottstown for the purpose of "beating up a man," according to the original arrest affidavit filed by Pottstown detectives. Aimes and Snell then fled Pottstown in Snell's SUV. Pottstown police gave chase and were assisted by Exeter police as the chase traveled into Berks and ended in the crash at Gibraltar Road. A loaded semiautomatic .380-caliber handgun was recovered from inside the SUV after the crash, police said.


Anonymous said...

Jury member #3 in the first trial of Malik Snell is happy to finally see justice served. I have followed this case for a long time. My thoughts and prayers go out to the young lady who was severely injured when he drove his SUV into the car she was in; trying to evade the police.

Anonymous said...

Norristown police officers set up false cases with district judges on 200. Main street frequently, and the department turns a blind eye and deaf ear. Instead, of helping innocent abiding people, they are told they will be arrested for trying to get help. Exposure of Nortistown corruption must be sought ASAP 2012 June