PHILADELPHIA, PA — At 4:04 a.m. on Aug. 30, 2017, a patrol officer responded to a call for an auto accident at the corner of Front and Dudley Streets in South Philly. The officer found a tipsy driver behind the wheel of a 2008 silver Nissan that had just crashed into two parked vehicles, but the Nissan was still running, and in drive.
As the cop approached the vehicle, she smelled burnt marijuana. She also observed the driver, Anthony M. Chong, 23, of Galloway Township, N.J. stuffing numerous plastic bags filled with white, bar-shaped pills into a back pack. When the cop asked Chong to get out of the car, he responded, “Hold on, I’m eating my chips.”
Chong, who refused to take a breathalyzer test, according to police, had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet. He told the officer he was a pharmacy student at Temple University who was currently working for CVS, both in Philadelphia and New Jersey. Apparently, Chong was taking his work home with him.
When police conducted a search of the car, they recovered a total of 1,494 Xanax pills, 2 mg. each, with a street value of $29,880. When the officer asked if Chong had stolen the drugs from his employer, according to a police report, he responded with a blank stare and a smirk, and then a slurred, “No.”
Police arrested Chong under suspicion of a possible DUI and subsequently filed a trio of drug charges against him.
It looked like a slam-dunk case. But since this is Philadelphia, under Progressive Larry Krasner, that’s not how it worked out.
After several continuances, and more than a year’s worth of court appearances, the D.A.’s office wound up not only dropping all the charges against Chong, but they also gave him back his bail money and expunged the alleged crimes from his criminal record.
It was another case of justice in Philadelphia, Krasner style, where the D.A. functions not as the city’s top law enforcement officer, and protector of law-abiding citizens, but as an accused criminal’s best friend.
The night he was arrested, Chong was transported to Methodist Hospital. He got out of jail after he posted bail of $5,000. His case took a while to go to court. And when it finally did, it took even longer for Chong and his lawyer to work their way through the system.
But as far as Chong and his lawyer were concerned, the results couldn’t have worked out better. In fact, both of them might be willing to do campaign commercials on behalf of their “Uncle Larry” when he runs for reelection.
According to records, Chong’s case was brought up during eight separate court appearances between August 23, 2018 and Dec. 16, 2019. Chong was charged with manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; intentional possession of a controlled substance; and use/possession of drug paraphernalia.
As the case chugged through the courts, the D.A.’s office and Judge Robert Coleman granted Chong and his lawyer one request after another. Such as, on Jan. 28, 2019, when the defense was granted a continuance for further investigation.
On May 1, 2019, the defendant wasn’t available to appear in court so the judge granted Chong another continuance for further investigation.
On July 15, 2019, defendant was unavailable again to appear in court. No problem as far as the D.A. was concerned.
Finally, on Sept. 30, 2019, after several continuances, according to court records, the D.A. asked Judge Coleman to drop the charges due to “prosecutorial discretion.”
But the D.A.’s office wasn’t through doing favors for Chong and his lawyer.
On Oct. 23, 2019, the judge approved a motion to expunge the charges against Chong. On Nov. 4, 2019, the Commonwealth refunded Chong’s bail. On Dec. 16, 2019, it cost Chong $147 in fees to get his record expunged.
Both Chong and his Philadelphia lawyer, Guy Sciolla, did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Sciolla like many other smart local defense lawyers, was a contributor to Krasner’s successful campaign for D.A. Records show that Sciolla donated $2,500 on March 8, 2017 to Krasner’s campaign, and another $250 on Oct. 10, 2017.
As one prominent defense lawyer told me right after Krasner was elected, “We can do business with Larry Krasner.”
They sure can. In previous stories, we’ve documented:
— How, because of a $25 traffic ticket, the D.A. let a convicted two-time killer out of jail.
— How the D.A. rigged a slam-dunk case of murder in Rittenhouse Square by twice dropping murder charges against the accused killer, Michael White. As well as behind closed doors, the D.A. and his top assistant, Anthony Voci, head of homicide, were counseling White, rehearsing him, and coaching him up during a private, cozy two-hour interview with the accused killer, and his dedicated team of public defenders.
— How the D.A. dropped27 burglary cases and a total of 184 charges against a career burglar, in addition to scrubbing his record clean.
— And how the D.A. gave a pass to the son of one of his own top supervisors, Movita Johnson-Harrell, herself a criminal, who was in charge of victim services in the D.A.’s office. This happened after Movita’s son went out to the job site of the mother of his son, lured her out in the streets, pushed her, shoved her, and then punched her in the mouth. The D.A. dropped an assault charge against Movita’s son, without ever notifying the victim, which is against the law.
And so it goes with this D.A. and his accomplices. They include the newspaper of record in this town, The Philadelphia Inquirer, that has willfully ignored all of these stories about how the D.A.’s office really functions, laid out in court records; they’ve also killed otherstories, in a concerted campaign to protect a fellow progressive.
Once upon a time in Philadelphia, the District Attorney’s office functioned as the representative for crime victims and law-abiding citizens. When the D.A. dealt with defense lawyers and the public defender’s office, it was as an adversary. That’s how the criminal justice system was supposed to work.
Now, in Philadelphia, thanks to George Soros and a gullible electorate, the D.A., the defense lawyers and the public defender’s office all work together as a team to represent the best interests of accused criminals.
Not the citizens, or crime victims.
The D.A. accomplishes his mission to empty the jails by routinely lowering charges, arranging plea bargains, dropping charges, and, when they do go to court, sending rookie, incompetent prosecutors out to lose slam-dunk cases like the Rittenhouse Square murder. And then, in a final act of generosity, the team led by our D.A. works together to scrub criminal records so the formerly accused can walk out of jail with a clean record.
And what do the officials down at D.A. Larry Krasner’s office who continue to betray their oath of office, have to say to explain to the citizens of Philadelphia why yet another accused criminal, Mr. Chong, who was caught red-handed with nearly $30,000 of a controlled substance, is now back on the streets and cruising around with a clean record?
As usual, the stonewallers at Krasner’s office — specifically Krasner, and his two alleged spokespersons, Jane Roh and Cameron Kline — did not respond to a request for comment.
At the Fraternal Order of Police, however, they hear stories like what happened to Chong every day.
“Our police officers are out there on a daily basis doing the job,” said FOP Vice President Vice-President John McGrody. “This guy’s a drug dealer with that kind of stuff. But the D.A. office is absolutely disregarding public safety and they’re disregarding the hard work of our police officers.”
“The message from the D.A.’s office,” McGrody said, “Is that nobody get arrested unless you’ve got a blue shirt and badge.”
A corporate spokesperson for CVS’s national headquarters in Woonsocket, R.I. did not respond to an email requesting comment about whether Chong is still employed by the pharmacy in both Philadelphia and New Jersey. Where he would have access to more drugs.
And why shouldn’t he? He’s got a clean record.