FRANKLIN, Va. (WAVY) — In Norfolk Federal Court Friday, a Franklin man was charged with distributing 100 grams or more of heroin, distribution of heroin, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a stolen firearm.
As he left the courthouse on Granby Street, 41-year-old Phillip Jerome Murphy covered his face with court papers. The affidavit in support of arrest warrant and complaint reads, “Since 2012, the FBI has been investigating a street gang known as the Red Stone Rydahs,” and Murphy is reportedly a member of that gang.
Murphy’s court appearance comes a day after a barrage of law enforcement descended upon his Morton Street home and searched it for hours. The FBI told the public they were looking for Murphy, who they considered armed and dangerous. He was taken into custody by 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
In the affidavit, an undercover Virginia State Police agent reports that Murphy told him his number one heroin customers are “primarily older war veterans.” Murphy allegedly sold heroin to the undercover agent in March 2014 and then again on April 15, 2014.
The charges against him basically mean Murphy has been selling lots of heroin and making thousands of dollars. And some of the sales were going on the Franklin home where he lives with his sister and her husband.
The affidavit also states that on July 22, 2014, a Virginia State Police employee purchased a stolen M-4 type assault rifle for a$1,000 from Murphy. The court papers claim Murphy told the agent that the gun was stolen and that he needed to sell it immediately.
Murphy is a previously convicted felon and, by law, is not allowed to have guns in his possession.
Other claims in the affidavit include an undercover agent giving Murphy $8,960 in May to travel to New York to purchase four ounces of heroin; then, on June 1, Murphy allegedly sold that heroin within 1000 feet of a Franklin Elementary School (which is across the street from his home).
“Murphy told [the undercover agent] that he had several individuals who work selling narcotics for him,” the affidavit states.
Murphy was denied bond, will get a court-appointed attorney and will be back in court on July 21 at 3:30 p.m.