SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Edirso De Leon Frias, age 25, of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, and Nathaniel Murphy, age 41, Roy Seabrook, age 43, and Ruth Reyes-Maldonado, age 32, all of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, were indicted by a federal grand jury in a superseding indictment on March 28, 2017, on drug trafficking and firearms offenses. On April 10, 2017, the superseding indictment was unsealed following the arrests of the defendants.
The original indictment alleged that De Leon Frias, Murphy, and Seabrook conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin.
According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the superseding indictment alleges that De Leon Frias, Murphy, Seabrook, and Reyes-Maldonado conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine. De Leon Frias was responsible for over one kilogram of heroin and over 500 grams of cocaine. Murphy was responsible for over 100 grams of heroin. One kilogram of heroin is the equivalent of approximately 40,000 individual doses. De Leon Frias is further charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
This indictment was the result of a year-long investigation, in part driven by multiple wiretaps, conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Wilkes-Barre Police Department, and the Pennsylvania State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean A. Camoni is prosecuting the case.
This case was brought as part of a district wide initiative to combat the nationwide epidemic regarding the use and distribution of heroin. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Heroin Initiative targets heroin traffickers operating in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and is part of a coordinated effort among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit heroin related offenses.
This case was brought as part of the Violent Crime Reduction Partnership (“VCRP”), a district wide initiative to combat the spread of violent crime in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the VCRP consists of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies whose mission is to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit violent crimes with firearms.
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 guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The maximum penalty under federal law for the drug trafficking offenses charged, depending on the drug weights charged, is 40 years or life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. The maximum penalty for the firearms offense charged is life 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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