Man held for trial for bringing AK-47 onto subway

Posted: August 19, 2012

JERMAL PONDS, the man pulled from a rush-hour SEPTA subway train last month and arrested for allegedly carrying a loaded .38-caliber revolver, a disassembled AK-47 assault rifle, a hunting knife, drugs and ammunition, was ordered Friday to stand trial.

Municipal Judge Frank T. Brady held Ponds, 28, on multiple weapon and drug charges after a brief preliminary hearing that included testimony about the July 31 arrest by both a SEPTA and city police officer.

The defendant faces a formal arraignment Sept. 7 and is being held on $200,000 bail, which was increased earlier this month from $100,000.

Assistant District Attorney Jacqueline McCauley said Ponds had no license to carry the guns that he brought onto the Broad Street Line, and he had no prescription to have the Percocet pills that he was carrying in a pill bottle with the label torn off.

The defendant was arrested after a female passenger spotted his weapons in a black bag and told police.

Defense attorney Michael Coard told reporters that Ponds cooperated fully during the arrest and gave police a statement, though he would not reveal what his client said.

During the hearing, Coard argued that Ponds was not a drug dealer, noting the "small amount" of Percocet pills and marijuana found on him.

The city officer testified that he believed the amount was, in fact, an indication of dealing rather than for personal use.

"We're going to fight these charges, so far, but I am always respective to any reasonable offer by the commonwealth," Coard said.

Contact Mensah M. Dean at 215568-8278 or Follow him on Twitter @mensahdean

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