Philadelphia Police arrested former Penn football player and Wharton alumnus Travis Roesler, 27, for possession of over $1 million worth of marijuana on Wednesday May 26.
Roesler had been the subject of an ongoing investigation, according to Lieutenant Robert Otto from the Philadelphia Police Narcotics Unit. A warrant to search his studio at 4112 Spruce Street was issued at 7 p.m. that day.
According to Otto, 131 marijuana plants were found, as well as two pounds of the plant packaged and ready for sale.
Vice President of Public Safety Maureen Rush said students generally aren’t found with two pounds of marijuana.
“What you’re dealing with here is someone who’s obviously involved in distribution and selling of narcotics,” Penn Police Chief Mark Dorsey said. “This is a large quantity of marijuana to be able to sell and that’s exactly what he got arrested for — possession and intent to distribute.”
Dorsey added that in order to ascertain what charges to press in situations such as these, the quantity of the drug found determines the level of the offense. “There was no way that would be for personal use,” he said, referring to Roesler’s case.
“The entire room was outfitted with a marijuana growing system,” Otto added.
The police discovered a hydroponic grow room on the second floor of the building, where Roesler runs a fight-training business known as Babylon Studios. Roesler was present when police entered his studio, and was subsequently arrested.
Roesler, whose bail is set at $300,000, is facing five charges, including possession with intent to distribute, causing catastrophe and reckless endangerment. His arraignment is scheduled for June 10.
Otto would not confirm how Roesler had come under investigation, but said that Roesler had been observed taking part in illegal activities during the course of an investigation.
“What he was doing was risky to his roommates and to the city,” Otto said. “He deserves to face punishment.”
Otto added that while similar drug busts have been made in the past, this is not a normal occurrence — “especially to come across a natural growth operation.”
A telephone call made to Roesler’s residence was not answered Friday morning.
Roesler graduated from Wharton in 2006 and was formerly a defensive lineman for the Quakers. According to the Penn football website, Roesler earned a letter in 2003.
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