News and Press Releases

Nine Charged for Trafficking Heroin and Marijuana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2012

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that nine individuals have been charged with conspiracy to possess and possession with intent to distribute heroin and marijuana throughout the Scranton, Pennsylvania area.

     Six of the individuals are in custody in Lackawanna County, two are being held in New York, and one remains at large. Those charged include: William Nelson, age 40, and Marisol Merry, age 40, both of Brooklyn, New York; Lamar Thomas, age 37, Gregory Bush, age 50, and Dante Murphy, age 31, all from Scranton; Michael Blondell, age 33, of Blakely; Terrell Stevenson, age 29, of Wilkes-Barre; Christopher Taylor, age 24, of Binghamton, New York; and Sean Martinelli, of Philadelphia.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, in addition to the arrests, search warrants were executed at five locations, including a business located at 1838-1840 North Main Avenue, Scranton, Pennsylvania known as “HOODPROMO STUDIO”. That business has now been closed. Large amounts of heroin as well as guns were seized as a result of the searches.

     The maximum penalties for the crimes charged include mandatory minimum sentences of 5 years up to 40 years and $5,000,000 in fines.

     These charges arise from the efforts of a joint investigation conducted by the Scranton Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Lackawanna County Drug Task Force, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski.

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An Indictment or Information is not evidence of guilt but simply a description of the charge made by the Grand Jury and/or United States Attorney against a defendant. A charged Defendant is presumed innocent until a jury returns a unanimous finding that the United States has proven the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt or until the defendant has pled guilty to the charges.

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