News and Press Releases

Franklin And Cumberland County Drug Trafficking Conspirators Charged Federally In Connection With Local Man’s Death

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2014

     The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Ashley Gries, 19, of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania; Danny Guy Forrester, 48, of Shippensburg; Gabriel John Stouffer, 30, of Newburg, Pennsylvania; Michael Anthony DeCarlo, 31, of Shippensburg; and Jeffrey Lynn Wright, Jr., 31, of Shippensburg, have been arrested and arraigned by Chief Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson on drug trafficking charges in federal court in Harrisburg today. 

     Gries, Forrester, Stouffer, DeCarlo and Wright were charged by indictment on March 19, 2014 by a grand jury in Harrisburg.  According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, the indictment made public today, alleges that the defendants engaged in heroin trafficking in the Franklin and Cumberland County areas from October 2013 through March 2014.  Gries, Forrester, and Stouffer were also charged with drug trafficking offenses that led to the death of 21-year-old Kyle Andrew Golter in Lurgan Township, on February 7, 2014.

     Forrester, DeCarlo and Wright were detained pending trial.  Gries and Stouffer were temporarily detained pending a detention scheduled for April 2, 2014.

     According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Franklin County Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner determined that the cause of Mr. Golter’s death was the result of heroin toxicity.  

     “This case was initiated as the result of the heroin overdose death in Franklin County.  Heroin overdoses are an all too common occurrence.  Between 2009 and mid-2013, Franklin County had 5 heroin related overdose deaths, and there were 25 in Cumberland County during the same period,” said Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge David G. Dongilli.  “This is due in part to its availability and the fact that it has never been cheaper or more potent.  Heroin doesn’t just kill people; it causes serious health problems, breaks up families, and destroys communities.  DEA will continue to aggressively target traffickers and distributors bringing heroin and other drugs, including highly addictive prescription pain medications, into our communities.”

     Gries, Forrester and Stouffer each face a mandatory minimum of 20 years’ imprisonment and a statutory maximum of life imprisonment for the drug trafficking offenses.  DeCarlo and Wright face a statutory maximum of 40 years’ imprisonment.

     This case is being jointly investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Shippensburg Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Cumberland County Drug Task Force, the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office, the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Franklin County Coroner.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Meredith A. Taylor.

     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.

     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.

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