Appeals Court Affirms Life Sentence For Drug Trafficker
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals today affirmed the sentence of life imprisonment imposed by Senior U.S. District Court Judge James M. Munley on Krishna Mote for his participation in a drug trafficking conspiracy that was responsible for distributing large amounts of crack cocaine in the Lehighton area of Northeastern Pennsylvania between 2005 and 2007.
According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Mote, age 44 who resided in the Allentown-Bethlehem area during the time of the conspiracy, was convicted by a jury after a three-day trial in December 2012. The jury returned guilty verdicts on both drug-related charges in the indictment.
Mote was indicted by a federal grand jury in June 2011, as a result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police.
In upholding the jury’s verdict, the Court rejected Mote’s claims that the indictment was duplicitous and the evidence proved two conspiracies instead of a single conspiracy. The Court noted that Mote engaged in the drug trafficking enterprise “with the same individuals during most of the period in question, and worked with a number of people who had an overlapping involvement over the entire time span” of the drug conspiracy. The Court concluded that there was “overwhelming evidence at trial” that Mote conspired with others to distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine.
In affirming the sentence, the Court explained that “with three prior felony drug convictions, the District Court properly sentenced [Mote] to a mandated life imprisonment.”
Assistant United States Attorney Francis P. Sempa prosecuted the case and handled the appeal for the government.