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Justice News

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

Monday, October 24, 2016

Berks County Man Indicted For Witness Tampering

HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a federal grand jury in Harrisburg returned an indictment on October 19, 2016 against William Papoutsis, Jr., age 34, for tampering with a witness in a federal trial.         

According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Papoutsis made threats through Facebook against a witness in upcoming federal trials involving Papoutsis’ nephew, Derek Pelker.  A grand jury returned two indictments against Pelker on August 24, 2016 relating to the robbery of the Susquehanna Bank in East Prospect on April 24, 2015 and the robbery of the M&T Bank in Lebanon on April 5, 2016. 

The matter was investigated by the FBI Capital City Violent Crimes Task Force.  The Task Force consists of representatives from the FBI’s Harrisburg Field Office and the Harrisburg Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott R. Ford.   

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 penalty for the offenses is 45 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a $750,000 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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Updated October 24, 2016