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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hazleton Man Charged In Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a Hazleton resident was arrested yesterday by federal agents for allegedly participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy that distributed cocaine and crack cocaine from January 2011 to the present.

     According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, a federal grand jury sitting in Scranton indicted Jose Angeles, also known as “Catalino Rivera-Felix” and “Tito,” age 53, in January 2014. The grand jury alleges that Angeles conspired with others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine and powder cocaine in the Hazleton area during a three-year time period.

     The Indictment also alleges that Angeles distributed and possessed with intent to distribute crack cocaine on May 25, 2012; October 19, 2012; September 4, 2013; and October 9, 2013.

     The charges stem from an investigation by special agents and task force officers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, Hazleton Police and Sugarloaf Police.

     If the defendant is convicted of the charges, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for each charge.

     The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa.

     Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

      A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

     In this case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is 20 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

Updated April 16, 2015