You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 2, 2018

Additional Explosives Charges Filed Against Luzerne County Man

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that on January 30, 2018, a federal grand jury in Scranton returned a superseding indictment charging Roberto Torner, age 44, a resident of Freeland, Pennsylvania, with additional explosives offenses.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the superseding indictment alleges that Torner possessed stolen C-4 explosives between September 6, 2017 to January 5, 2018. Torner and two other individuals, Liza Robles, age 33, and David Alzugaray-Lugones, age 48, previously were charged with various heroin distribution and firearms offenses on November 7, 2017. Torner was on pretrial release at the time of the alleged explosives offenses, but has since been taken into custody.

Torner, Robles and Alzugaray-Lugones were previously charged with conspiring to distribute heroin from June 2, 2015 to June 8, 2015. All three individuals also were charged with distributing heroin on June 8, 2015.

Torner and Robles were previously charged with conspiring, from May 12, 2012 to August 28, 2017, to provide firearms and ammunition to a convicted felon and to possess firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon. The indictment alleges that Robles purchased six firearms from various federal firearms licensees and other unnamed individuals, including two assault rifles, and provided them to Torner, a convicted felon prohibited from purchasing firearms. The indictment also alleges that Torner purchased a shotgun from an unnamed individual.

Robles also was initially charged with providing firearms and ammunition to Torner, despite knowing of his status as a felon. Torner also was charged with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. Alzugaray-Lugones also was initially charged with being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

The superseding indictment seeks forfeiture of $4,000, over 1,500 rounds of ammunitions, and various firearms seized during the investigation. The firearms are:

• Magnum Research 1911U .45acp;

• Hi-Point JHP .45acp;

• Stag Arms STAG-15, .223 cal. (a semiautomatic firearm that is capable of accepting a large capacity magazine);

• Mossberg 500 12-gauge shotgun;

• Norinco MAC90 (a semiautomatic firearm that is capable of accepting a large capacity magazine); and a

• Tikka T3, 30.06 rifle.

The matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Phillip J. Caraballo is prosecuting the case.

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. The case also 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.

Indictments 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 penalties under federal law for the most serious narcotics charges are 30 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. The maximum penalties under federal law for the most serious firearms and explosives charges are 10 years of 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. # # #

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Updated February 2, 2018