D.A.: Philly man charged for straw purchasing handgun used to kill Officer Brad Fox
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announced today the arrest of Philadelphia man Michael Henry for allegedly straw purchasing nine handguns for Andrew Thomas, 44. They said Thomas used one of those guns – a Beretta 9mm – to fatally shoot Plymouth Township Officer Brad Fox on Sept. 13 before committing suicide.
Investigators said they identified Henry, 30, of the 900 block of North 41st Street in the Belmont section of West Philadelphia, after recovering the gun found near the two men’s bodies, which was allegedly purchased on May 30 and registered to Henry.
Authorities said Henry, who met Thomas in April, admitted to purchasing seven handguns and two rifles between
April 10 and July 31 at In Site Firearms in Montgomery County and French Creek Outfitters in Chester County. Each time, he allegedly handed the weapon over to Thomas in the
stores’ parking lots in return for reimbursement, plus a $500 payment.
Henry will be arraigned at 1 p.m. this afternoon at the District Court located in Conshohocken, where the charges against him will be announced and his bail will be set.
At the time of Fox’s death, Thomas was on probation after pleading guilty in May to forgery for using $140 worth of counterfeit Acme gift certificates and could not legally buy a weapon. He was also the prime suspect in the 1999 disappearance of his fiancee, Maria Procopio, in South Philadelphia, but was never charged in connection with that case.
Though police recovered the gun used in Fox’s slaying, the eight other firearms Henry allegedly bought are still on the street. Investigators said they are aggressively trying to locate them.
Ferman released a list of alias Thomas used in the hopes that someone who recognizes a name might come forward with more information regarding the location of those weapons. They include Michael Sexton, Ronald W. Blackshear, Gary Murray, Howard Bettey, Robert P. Diggans, Eric T. Piggans, Raymond Sellinger, Jeremiah G. Hough, David F. Bracken, Alan Weston Clark, George C. Dyer, John S. Francis, Joseph R. O’Conner and Ronald A. Woodland.
Anyone who has had contact with Thomas in the past two years is asked to contact the Montgomery County Detective Bureau at 610-278-3368.