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Justice News

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

Thursday, January 15, 2015

California Man Pleads Guilty To Heroin Trafficking

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a 28-year-old Fresno, California resident pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick in Scranton, to possessing with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the defendant, Jose Rosario Huizar-Rios, admitted to helping transport 23 kilograms of heroin, with a street value of more than $1 million, from California to the Mt. Pocono area of Monroe County in July 2014.

Huizar-Rios and three others were indicted by a federal grand jury in July 2014, as a result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Pennsylvania State Police.  One of the co-defendants, Livier Cantor-Huizar, previously entered a guilty plea and is awaiting sentencing.

Judge Mehalchick ordered a pre-sentence investigation report to be completed. Huizar-Rios will be sentenced by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Richard P. Conaboy at a future date.

Huizar-Rios faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a possible maximum sentence of life in prison. The defendant, who is not a U.S. citizen, also faces possible deportation from the United States.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa.

Updated April 16, 2015