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Press Release

Allentown Man Sentenced To 31 Months’ Imprisonment For Role In Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Deovonie Birch, age 23, of Allentown, was sentenced on September 13, 2019 to serve 31 months’ imprisonment by Senior U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo, for his role in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the defendant previously pleaded guilty to participating in the conspiracy during 2015 and 2016. Deovonie Birch admitted that he acted as a sub-distributor of heroin for his father, Robert Birch, who headed-up the conspiracy. The conspiracy obtained heroin from suppliers in New York and Allentown, and distributed it to customers in Carbon County, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. Deovonie Birch was responsible for distributing between 60 and 80 grams of heroin, which is approximately equivalent to between 2300 and 3300 retail bags of heroin.

Judge Caputo also ordered Birch to serve three years on supervised release following his prison sentence.

Birch was indicted by a grand jury in September 2016, as a result of an investigation by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, members of the Pennsylvania State Police, and Allentown Police. Assistant United States Attorney Francis P. Sempa prosecuted the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

This case was also 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.          

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Updated September 16, 2019

Project Safe Neighborhoods