Over 21 years as a Philadelphia police officer, Stanley Davis racked up numerous awards and accolades. Before his sentencing this week on federal criminal charges of distribution of drugs, he submitted records from a long and storied career: records of awards for his service as an officer, including copies of commendations for working on narcotics task forces with the FBI, certificates of merit for quick handling of active robberies and other crimes, six officer of the month awards and two perfect attendance awards.
But that wasn’t enough to stop a federal judge from sentencing Davis, 50, to 18 months in federal prison on Monday for allegedly trading heroin and crack to two women in exchange for sexual favors while assigned to the Narcotics unit, one of whom later, while high, caused a car crash that killed her own grandmother.
“The nature of this case is serious, however, the crime involves no violence or threats and it is isolated aberrational conduct in an otherwise admirable life,” Davis’ defense attorney Jack McMahon wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “God forbid that any of us are defined by our worst or lowest moment. The decisions made by Mr. Davis are in some ways even a mystery to him. After being charged, Mr. Davis has voluntarily sought out psychological and psychiatric help to try to understand and prevent such horrible lapse in judgment and conduct moving forward.”
But McMahon’s arguments and some two dozen pleas for leniency from family and friends who attested to Davis’ character did not dissuade US District Judge Barclay Surrick from imposing a prison term on Davis, who retired shortly after these allegations first came to light and pleaded guilty to criminal charges.
“The conduct of former Philadelphia Police Officer Stan Davis is reprehensible,” recently appointed US Attorney William M. McSwain said in a statement. “The Kensington area of Philadelphia has long been ravaged by the impact of the drug trade, and Davis served his own agenda by preying on the vulnerability of women struggling with drug use. Unlike Davis, the overwhelming majority of the men and women of the Philadelphia Police Department are dedicated servants to the community whose fine reputations should not be tarnished by the outrageous conduct of this one police officer.”
In September and October 2016 while Davis was working in Kensington on an FBI task force probing narcotics, he met two young women trying to buy drugs, “ostensibly to gain information on drug trafficking activity in the area,” federal prosecutors said in a statement. “He exchanged phone numbers with the women and began sending them text messages, which soon turned sexual in nature.”
Davis later initiated sexual relationships with both women, and gave them both heroin and crack, prosecutors said.
In May 2017, Davis retired after a federal probe began linking him to a November 2016 car crash in Chester County caused by one of the women he met in Kensington. Driver Rosie Forsyth, whose 90-year-old grandmother was a passenger in her Volvo S-60 at the time she crashed, was arrested after state police observed her to appear under the influence and have needle marks in her arms, CBS Philly reported.
Her grandmother, Thelma Frey, reportedly died eight days later from injuries sustained during the crash. Forsyth later told authorities Davis had given her the drugs.