Franklin Mills is a popular shopping and tourism destination, but out-of-towners Anthony DeRosa and Eric Boehm had other plans when they visited the sprawling mega-mall last Thursday, authorities say.
DeRosa, of Wilkes-Barre, and Boehm, of Goshen, N.Y., allegedly wanted to sell 20 pounds of high-grade marijuana. Problem was, their anticipated buyers were actually undercover agents from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Dangerous Drug Offenders Unit.
The agents arrested DeRosa, 39, and Boehm, 47, in the mall parking lot shortly after 10 p.m. for drug possession and distribution, conspiracy and illegal use of a communications device. Both defendants remain in jail at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, each in lieu of $200,000 bail. They are scheduled for a Jan. 25 preliminary hearing.
According to the DA’s office, the men drove to Philadelphia from Wilkes-Barre in a 2002 Chrysler minivan with the marijuana in the back of the vehicle. They allegedly packed the drugs in 20 vacuum-sealed plastic bags, which they stuffed into a suitcase. The drugs are worth about $100,000 on the street, the DA’s office said.
The arrests were part of an ongoing investigation into narcotics trafficking from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to Philadelphia. Philadelphia police assisted in the operation. ••