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Justice News

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

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Bradford County Men Charged With Stealing And Transporting 48 Firearms And Distributing Heroin

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Jared Miller, age 28, a Sayre, Pennsylvania resident, and Aaron Vanderpool, age 34, a Wysox, Pennsylvania resident, have been charged in separate Criminal Informations with firearms and controlled substance offenses associated with a May 2015 gun store burglary in Bradford County.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Vanderpool stole 48 firearms from Fulmer’s Sporting Goods, a federally licensed firearms dealer in Wysox, Pennsylvania, on or about May 24, 2015.  The information also charges Vanderpool with distributing heroin on May 8, 2015.

A separate information filed against Miller charges him with transporting 47 of the stolen firearms from Pennsylvania to New York, between May 26, 2015 and June 15, 2015.  The Information also charges Miller with conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 400-700 grams of heroin, equivalent to approximately 16,000 to 28,000 doses of heroin, during a three-year period from June 1, 2012 through June 15, 2015.

The government simultaneously filed plea agreements with both Vanderpool and Miller which are subject to approval of the court.  A date for their arraignments has not been set.

Miller and Vanderpool were initially charged with and arrested for firearms and heroin offenses in a criminal complaint filed on June 16, 2015.  Both men have remained in custody since their arrest.

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

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.

This case also was brought as part of a district wide initiative to combat the nationwide epidemic of 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.

Informations 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 charges filed against Miller are 50 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.  The heroin conspiracy charge carries a five-year mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment.  The maximum penalties under federal law for the charges filed against Vanderpool are 30 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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Drug Trafficking
Updated August 9, 2016