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Justice News

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

Friday, January 31, 2014

Former Employee Of Forty Fort GM Foodmart Store Charged With Distributing Synthetic Marijuana

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that it has charged a 26-year-old New Jersey resident who worked at a GM Foodmart store in Kingston, Pennsylvania, with conspiracy to distribute synthetic marijuana.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, his office filed a criminal Information in U.S. District Court in Scranton today against Manjinder Singh, charging him with participating in a conspiracy to sell synthetic marijuana from the store during January 2012 and July 2012.

     The Information alleges that Singh and/or his co-conspirators obtained synthetic marijuana from out-of-state suppliers and sold synthetic marijuana to customers from the GM Foodmart Store in Forty Fort. It further alleges that Singh distributed synthetic marijuana to others on six occasions.

     The charge against Singh resulted from an investigation by the IRS Criminal Investigative Division, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Pennsylvania State Police. Mastan Mathan, the owner and operator of the store, recently pleaded guilty to a money laundering conspiracy involving proceeds from the sale of synthetic marijuana.

     If convicted of the charge, Singh faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

     A plea agreement was also filed in the case.

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

     Indictments and Criminal 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 guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

     In this case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is 20 years’ 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.

Updated April 9, 2015