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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Effort Man Charged With Distribution Of Fentanyl Resulting In Death

SCRANTON- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania has announced that Matthew Luce, a/k/a “Luck,” age 36, of Effort, Pennsylvania, was indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with drug distribution resulting in death.

According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, the indictment alleges that Luce knowingly and intentionally distributed a quantity of fentanyl on February 6, 2021, in Monroe County, resulting in the death of a person. 

The charges stem from a joint investigation involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Scranton, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office (NJ), the Clinton Police Department (NJ), and the Pennsylvania State Police.  Assistant U.S. Attorney James M. Buchanan is prosecuting the case.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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 to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit heroin related offenses.         

The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. 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.

Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Updated March 30, 2022