Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, Norristown Police Chief Russell Bono, Bridgeport Police Chief Zenny Martyniuk and Upper Merion Police Chief Tom Nolan announce the arrest Jack Pennington for felony drug violations.
In March, 2012, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office received an anonymous tip that Pennington, age 66, a retired Norristown Police Detective Sergeant, was engaged in illegal bookmaking and drug trafficking.
The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) initiated an investigation to determine the validity of the complaint.
NET utilized a variety of investigative methods in the course of the investigation, and on June 19, detectives conducted close physical surveillance on Pennington. Detectives followed Pennington who was operating his 2006 Cadillac CTS with a Fraternal Order of Police license plate.
On June 19, the investigation revealed that at 4:30 PM, Jack Pennington was going to meet his “supplier” of Methamphetamine at the Plymouth Meeting Mall. NET followed Pennington throughout the day and watched as he met with suspected drug customers before meeting his source of supply.
Pennington arrived at the Plymouth Meeting Mall at approximately 4:30 PM, and waited in his Cadillac sedan.
Pennington’s source of supply arrived and at 4:43 PM. Pennington exited his vehicle and leaned into the driver’s side door of the supplier’s vehicle, with both hands protruding through the window.
At this time, believing that a drug delivery occurred, detectives took Pennington into custody. Located at the scene was a paper bag, which was later determined to contain three ounces of Crystal Methamphetamine, and a large amount of cash ($6,961). The street value of this quantity of Crystal Methamphetamine is $17,000.
A search of Pennington revealed $9,470 cash and a “Retired” Norristown Police badge with “retired” credentials in his pants pockets.
A search warrant was executed on Pennington’s Cadillac sedan and recovered was a fully loaded Smith & Wesson .38 caliber handgun; $1,505.00 United States currency; three cellular phones; 2 digital scales for weighing drugs; numerous empty and unused drug bags for packaging drugs; and an undetermined quantity of suspected Crystal Methamphetamine.
A search warrant was executed on Pennington’s residence at 375 Ross Road, Upper Merion Township and seized were four handguns; ammunition; miscellaneous police memorabilia; drug paraphernalia including empty and unused bags for packaging drugs; evidence of illegal bookmaking, and $1,500 in cash.
Pennington was arraigned this morning by Magisterial District Judge James Gallagher. Bail was set at $2 million - cash.
The preliminary hearing was scheduled for Friday, June 29, at 10 am, at Magisterial District Judge Gallagher’s Court located at 128 West Fourth Street in Bridgeport.
The investigation is continuing.
Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the Montgomery County District Attorneys Narcotics Enforcement Team at (610) 278-3384.
Citizens with complaints about criminal activity, including drug violations, can contact the District Attorneys Office at www.montcopa.org/drugtaskforce. Or call the Tip Hotline by dialing (610) 278- DO IT. There is no requirement to leave your name. As with this case, all citizen tips will be evaluated and investigated.
Assistant District Attorneys Tonya W. Lupinacci and Nathan J. Schadler will prosecute this case.