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Press Release

Berwick Man Charged With Heroin Trafficking

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 today that a grand jury in Scranton charged Edwin Vaquiz, age 27, a resident of Berwick, Pennsylvania, on October 25, 2016, with distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin. 

The indictment was unsealed yesterday following the arrest of Vaquiz in Berwick.  Vaquiz was arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick and was ordered detained. 

According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the indictment charges Vaquiz with distributing heroin on January 22, 2016 and possession with intent to distribute over sixty grams (equivalent of approximately 1,800 retail bags) of heroin on January 29, 2016, in the Berwick area. 

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Berwick Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sean A. Camoni.

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.

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 under federal law for each offense is 20 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.


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Updated November 2, 2016

Drug Trafficking