Former Norristown Police Officer Jack Pennington, a guy who retired from the Norristown Police Department in 1995 after 28 years of service, was arrested at the Plymouth Meeting Mall on June 21 and charged with possession of a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, and possession with intent to distribute after being found with three ounces of crystal methamphetamine along with almost $17,000 in cash.  Pennington also had in his possession his retired Norristown police badge.  Nice.  Pennington, of Upper Merion, is being held on a $2,000,00 bail.

The County Net Team, acting on a tip, responded to the mall where Pennington was allegedly servicing customers from his silver Cadillac sedan (stylish) which also displayed a law enforcement sticker in plain view.  A search of the vehicle also turned up a fully loaded .38 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun, $1,505 in cash, three cell phones, two digital scales, baggies, and a large quantity of meth.

Obviously this is a black eye for law enforcement in Montgomery County.  Its hard to believe that this guy could have operated a business on such a large scale.  As A Montgomery County Possession with Intent Lawyer, Pennington looks dead in the water unless his rights were somehow violated during a search.  But it is true that the case becomes a whole lot uglier since it involved one of Norristown’s own.  During her press conference last week, District Attorney Risa Ferman made it a point to remind  everyone of this very fact.  “The man acted as if he were protected.  He acted as if the rules did not apply to him, that the law did not apply to him, and he used his badge for cover.  That affects both law enforcement and the community very negatively”.

Without knowing more, my guess is that Pennington will be offered no plea bargain due to the egregious nature of the offenses.  This means that he Pennington would either have to plead guilty a judge, without an agreement as to sentencing with the D.A’s office,  or ask for a trial.  Not very palatable options.

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