Drug Kingpin Facing Life Behind Bars: Philadelphia Man Convicted of Major Drug Trafficking and Firearm Offenses

Court News

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Notorious drug trafficker, Phillip Gillard, 46, could be spending the rest of his life behind bars after being convicted of federal drug trafficking and firearm offenses on February 16, 2024. The announcement came from United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero.

The charges against Gillard and his eight co-defendants stem from a two-year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation into their large-scale drug trafficking operation. Their illicit activities were centered in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia, disturbingly close to the Memphis Street Academy, a local charter school at 2950 Memphis Street.

A grand jury in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania returned a 54-count superseding indictment on July 18, 2023. The indictment detailed the group’s involvement in supplying other drug traffickers with wholesale quantities of dangerous narcotics including methamphetamine, phencyclidine (“PCP”), fentanyl, and others.

During the course of this long-term investigation, law enforcement agents conducted surveillance and undercover sting operations. Drugs were purchased directly from the defendants in these operations. Gillard and his co-defendants maintained three separate properties in connection with their drug trafficking organization, all within a shockingly short distance of less than 1,000 feet away from the Memphis Street Academy.

The FBI’s efforts paid off when they confiscated over 20 pounds of pure methamphetamine, three gallons of PCP, one and a half kilograms of cocaine, 900 grams of crack cocaine, 400 grams of fentanyl, and 11 firearms.

Gillard now faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Co-defendants Diane Gillard, Raphael Sanchez, Sharif Jackson, Amin Whitehead, Cesar Maldonado, and Terrence Maxwell have already pleaded guilty to similar charges and also face maximum sentences of life in prison. Meanwhile, co-defendants Melvin Dreher and Arron Preno, who have also pleaded guilty, face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

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The case was a collaborative effort between the FBI, Philadelphia Police Department, and Homeland Security Investigations. The Memphis Street Academy also provided extraordinary cooperation. Assistant United States Attorneys Everett Witherell and Robert W. Schopf are prosecuting the case.

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