Montgomery County Detective Michael J. Reynolds has committed his life to battling drug trafficking.
Reynolds, in March, was elected president of the Pennsylvania Narcotics Officers Association, an organization that promotes cooperation and discussion of drug law enforcement among police and their agencies statewide.
“I’ve been involved in the organization since its inception in 1990,” Reynolds proudly told me when I asked him about his recent election.
Since 1992, Reynolds has served in various positions with the association’s board of directors, including treasurer and sergeant of arms and vice president. The association has about 600 members statewide.
“Our purpose is to build camaraderie with other narcotics officers and to promote training and education,” Reynolds explained.
Reynolds began his law enforcement career with the Philadelphia Police Department in 1982 where he worked in the uniform patrol division until 1985 when he was transferred to the city’s narcotics unit. In 1990, Reynolds moved to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office where he was a detective with the Dangerous Drug Offender Unit for 14 years.
Reynolds was hired as a Montgomery County detective in January 2004 where he has been assigned to the Narcotics Enforcement Team, or NET.
In his capacity as a police officer and as a county detective, Reynolds, who is also an active member of the International Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association, has been involved in more than 1,000 drug arrests and investigations.
In February, Reynolds was the lead detective during “Operation Snow and Ice Removal,” an investigation in which 32 suspects allegedly involved in the trafficking of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine were rounded up and charged with various drug offenses. The inception of the investigation was the result of the investigation of the exportation of heroin from Columbia to the U.S., according to court documents.
|Items seized during 'Operation Snow and Ice Removal'|
Mercury photo by Carl Hessler Jr.
“It’s very rewarding. I’ve always been interested in enforcing narcotics laws since I was a young man. When I joined the Philadelphia Police Department my goal was to go to narcotics as soon as possible,” Reynolds, who worked some of Philadelphia’s meanest streets in the 1980s, told me.
The rewards of the job come in various forms, Reynolds said.
“It’s not just having the big (drug) seizures involving kilos of cocaine and large sums of money,” said Reynolds, adding the rewards also include helping others by cracking down on dangerous drugs that lead to addictions and destroy lives. “Especially with the heroin epidemic that we’re facing now where it’s affecting everybody’s lives. There are some very good people who come from good families and they get addicted, usually to oxycodone or Percocet, which unfortunately leads to heroin addiction. That’s just completely destroying people’s lives.”
In county court, Reynolds has been qualified as an expert witness in the use, manufacture, distribution and illegal trafficking of controlled substances and has testified about the clandestine manner in which drugs are manufactured, transported, sold, distributed and used.
After witnessing his testimony, it’s clear that Reynolds is has extensive knowledge about prices, street slang and codes used in association with illegal drug distribution.
Reynolds is also a faculty member of the Pennsylvania Top Gun Program, which is a narcotics training curriculum that covers the tactical and investigative techniques of narcotics investigations.
Assistant District Attorney Kelly Lloyd, captain of the district attorney’s drug crimes prosecution unit, said Reynolds’ election as president of the association is well-deserved.
“Mike Reynolds is one of the best detectives that we have here. We’re lucky to have him. We were lucky to get him from Philadelphia. (His election) is just a statement to his hard work throughout his career. We’re happy for him and support him,” said Lloyd, who has worked closely with Reynolds during some high-profile drug investigations and prosecutions.
Lloyd was “not the slightest bit surprised” by Reynolds being elected to the post.
“He’s a great detective, very thorough. His affidavits are very thorough, very complete. He really cares about the job and that comes through with his work. You can tell he really invests a lot of time in it and he’s excellent to work with,” Lloyd told me.
As a reporter, I’ve read some of Reynolds’ criminal complaints and indeed I found them concise, well-written and chock full of interesting details.