News and Press Releases

Three People Charged In Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2014

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that two Philadelphia residents and a state prison inmate were indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday for participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy that distributed heroin during November 2013 to the present.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, the grand jury alleges that Eudy Gonzalez, age 24, an inmate at State Correctional Institution Waymart,  Linda Reyes, age 23, and Luis Morales, age 31, conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin during a two-month time period.

     The Indictment alleges that the defendants arranged to obtain heroin in Philadelphia and had the heroin transported to the Allentown area for further distribution into the Hazleton area. The indictment alleges that the suspects communicated with each other and drug customers by phone and text messages.   

     The charges stem from an investigation by special agents and task force officers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Scranton Police.

     If the defendants are convicted of the charges, they each face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a possible maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

     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 40 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.

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