Elkins Park man sentenced for leading state police on high-speed chase, possessing illegal firearm and narcotics

Michael Joseph Thorne Jr., 28, of the 7900 block of Ronaele Drive in Elkins Park, was sentenced to four to eight years in prison after leading state police on a high-speed pursuit in Pottstown and Lower Pottsgrove Township in January 2023, the Times Herald reported today.

Thorne pleaded guilty to charges of person not to possess a firearm and possession with intent to deliver controlled substances (specifically heroin/fentanyl and methamphetamine). A judge ordered Thorne to be evaluated for substance abuse disorder and recommended that he be eligible for the state Department of Corrections’ drug treatment program while serving his sentence.

An investigation began around 12:20am on January 7, 2023, when state police attempted to make a traffic stop of a Dodge Durango operated by Thorne after he allegedly exceeded the posted speed limit and failed to stop at a stop sign, according to a criminal complaint.

According to the Herald, Thorne also failed to stop for police emergency lights and sirens and blew through multiple stop signs, traveled the wrong way on one-way streets and went through red lights during police pursuit. Officers said he reached speeds in excess of 80 mph and tossed a handgun from the vehicle.

“The handgun was loaded with an extended magazine which is designed to hold 24 rounds of 9mm ammunition. The magazine contained 16 rounds of 9mm ammunition,” state police Trooper Christopher Abbott said. “Thorne continued to flee after throwing the handgun. These actions not only placed troopers at risk but put the public in danger.”

A search of Thorne’s vehicle uncovered roughly one pound of suspected methamphetamine, 339 bags of suspected heroin/fentanyl and suspected cocaine, a drug packaging material, a digital scale and a bag containing $660 cash, the Herald said.

The full story is here.

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