Fugitive arraigned on drug and weapons charges

Published 4:34 pm Monday, July 20, 2015

Authorities from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Franklin Police Department apprehended a wanted subject on Thursday evening, and he made an appearance in federal court on Friday. Phillip “Philly” Jerome Murphy, 41, of 417 Morton St., Franklin, was arraigned and charged with distribution of more than 100 grams of heroin, distribution of heroin, possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm.



According to an unsealed criminal complaint and court records, Murphy has been the focus of an FBI investigation since 2012. Believed to be a part of the gang known as the Red Stone Rydahs, which reportedly distributes drugs in Franklin, Emporia, Smithfield and Southampton County, Murphy has allegedly been selling and dealing since 1994.

The documents show that during the investigation, undercover agents and confidential sources purchased heroin and an M-4 assault rifle from Murphy. The first of four transactions occurred in March 2014 when a confidential source bought heroin from Murphy for $2,800. The most recent occurred in May 2015, less than a half-mile from S.P. Morton Elementary School.

The affidavit also states that Murphy told the undercover officer that he had “several individuals who work selling narcotics for him.”

A previously convicted felon and by law not allowed to have guns in his possession, Murphy allegedly sold the M-4 assault rifle in July 2014 to an undercover Virginia State Police Officer for $1,000. The court records claim that he told the undercover officer that he needed to sell the weapon quickly because it was stolen. After the purchase was made, it was discovered that the gun was stolen that January, and had previously crossed state lines.

Murphy, who fled into a field behind his home when authorities attempted to serve an arrest warrant on the morning of July 16, was apprehended without incident at a relative’s house in Southampton County that evening. He was denied bond, and will be back in court on Tuesday, July 21, at 3:30 p.m.