Philadelphia police arrested a former University of Pennsylvania football player and mixed-martial-arts trainer and seized $1.2 million worth of high-grade marijuana from his fight-training studio in University City Wednesday night, authorities said.
Travis Roesler, 27, who operates Babylon Studios in a two-level brick building behind the 4100 block of Spruce Street, was arrested on the street earlier in the day, Capt. James Kelly of Narcotics South said. Police served a search warrant at his studios around 7 p.m.
Police found a small but sophisticated hydroponic grow room on the second floor above the studio that contained about 130 plants and two pounds of marijuana ready to be packaged, Kelly said.
"Hydro" marijuana sells for double on the street - $20 a gram vs. $10 for a gram of the less potent variety, Kelly said.
"He was distributing around the college area," Kelly said, referring to the community around Penn.
Asked how long Roesler allegedly had been dealing marijuana, Kelly said, "From the intricate operation that he had, I'd say at least two years."
No weapons were found in the building, where Roesler also lives, Kelly said.
Roesler played for the Penn Quakers football team enough to earn a letter in 2003, according to police and a Penn football website.
He also had a short career as a professional mixed-martial-arts fighter.
He faces charges of possession with intent to distribute, Kelly said.