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Press Release

Pennsylvania Man Convicted of Firearm and Drug Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Delaware

WILMINGTON, Del. – David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware announced that a federal jury convicted Philip Epps, age 36 of Reading Pennsylvania, of possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute on May 22, 2024. Chief Judge Colm F. Connolly accepted the verdict and, in a bifurcated bench trial held on June 26, 2024, found Epps guilty of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Epps was arrested on February 28, 2023, after he arrived at a local motel in Wilmington, Delaware to supply a subordinate with drugs. At the time of his arrest, within a hidden compartment or “trap” inside Epps’ vehicle, New Castle County police officers recovered two loaded handguns with obliterated serial numbers, over 225 grams of cocaine, additional packaged drugs containing fentanyl and xylazine, as well as over $15,000. Law enforcement obtained additional evidence that Epps had been purchasing cutting agents, specifically xylazine, from China via WhatsApp.

U.S. Attorney Weiss stated, “Illegally possessing a firearm while trafficking in illegal drugs fuels the violence in our communities. Mr. Epps’ continued unwillingness to abide by the rule of law was disrupted thanks to law enforcement. I wish to commend New Castle County Police Department and our federal law enforcement partners for holding this repeat offender accountable.

Epps faces a maximum of life in prison when sentenced on November 22, 2024. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case was investigated by the New Castle County Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Samuel S. Frey and Michelle Thurstlic-O’Neill prosecuted the case. 

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the District of Delaware or on PACER by searching for Case Nos. 23-30.

Updated June 28, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses