Wayne man sentenced in barber shop cocaine ring

Posted: April 02, 2013

A man who, with his brother, ran a cocaine distribution ring out of a Wayne barber shop, was sentenced Monday to 18 to 36 years in a state prison.

Montgomery County Judge William R. Carpenter issued the sentence after a jury found Michael Dennis, 36, of Wayne, guilty in January of 19 charges, including multiple felony drug charges.

The drug operation that Dennis and his brother, Anthony Dennis, 41, ran out of a barber shop on Upper Gulph Road had customers in Montgomery County, Chester County and Philadelphia, said Montgomery County assistant district attorney Jason Whalley.

Whalley called the brothers "major dealers for Southeastern Pennsylvania."

Law enforcement authorities knew about the Dennis' trafficking ring, which was in business 15 or 20 years, he said, but "informants were scared of them - they didn't want to testify against them."

A joint investigation by authorities from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, and Chester and Montgomery Counties began in 2008. Investigators used wiretaps to gather evidence and arrested the pair in 2011.

"Listening to their phone calls was the only way we could take down this organization," Whalley said.

More than four pounds of cocaine - which had a street value of at least $74,000 - were recovered from the barber shop.

Anthony Dennis, of North Wales, whom Whalley said was a barber, pleaded guilty just before his trial was to begin in January, to 101 felony charges and is awaiting a sentencing date.

Michael Dennis' attorney could not be reached for comment.

Contact staff writer Carolyn Davis at 610-313-8109, cdavis@phillynews.com, or @carolyntweets on Twitter.

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