NORRISTOWN, PA – A Montgomery County man who was convicted of impersonating a police officer while committing armed robberies against couriers responsible for driving prescription drugs from distribution centers to pharmacies locals was sentenced to 33 to 66 years in state prison for his crimes, according to media reports and court records.
Brandon Holmes, 34, of Lower Merion Township, was sentenced earlier this month by Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Wendy Rothstein after being convicted in a jury trial prior to numerous felony and misdemeanor criminal charges.
Court records from the case show Holmes was on trial for four days in late May and early June on various criminal charges related to what investigators said was a serial armed robbery case involving Holmes posing as police and arresting drug couriers to steal their products.
Couriers work for delivery services responsible for moving pharmaceutical drugs from distribution centers to local pharmacies.
A Mercury newspaper article said the incidents occurred between May and September 2019 in Plymouth and Whitemarsh townships.
Holmes, who was charged alongside five other people – some acting as lookouts while others helped ransack vehicles looking for the drugs – was eventually convicted of robbery, theft by unlawful taking, concealment of stolen property, possession of an instrumentality of crime, impersonation of a public official, unlawful duress, forcible confinement, kidnapping, terrorist threats, aggravated assault, simple assault, criminal association and similar offences.
The Mercury reported that the victims, who were all legally employed as drug couriers in a legitimate business role, were targeted by Holmes and the others after seeing police lights and believing they were being arrested by officers.
Holmes and the co-conspirators approached the victims’ vehicles as if they were law enforcement on duty, but eventually restrained and sometimes beat the victims after pulling them from their vehicles during the illegal traffic stops .
The scheme was allegedly carried out so that Holmes and the others could illegally package the prescription drugs for resale. Narcotics were included in the types of stolen drugs.
Court records show Rothstein, the judge, also ordered Holmes to pay restitution in the amount of $42,747.60, which would be split among the other co-conspirators, who were identified in court documents as Eugene. Fortune and Daniel McLaughlin.
According to court records, Fortune, 36, of Philadelphia, was sentenced earlier this month to between 11 and a half and 23 months in prison after being found guilty of various criminal charges during a trial before previous jury.
McLaughlin, 29, of Upper Darby, pleaded guilty in connection with his role in the case last month.
Records show McLaughlin, who was also sentenced to state prison, decided to plead guilty several days into a jury trial.
Another defendant in the case, Malik Fowler, 24, of Upper Darby, was sentenced to 2½ to 6 years in state prison after a jury trial in June, according to the court’s criminal filing. affair.