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Press Release

Former Lackawanna County Prison Contract Employee Charged With Conspiracy To Provide Drugs And Contraband To Inmates

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 that a criminal information was filed on May 21, 2019, charging Brenda Cruise, age 48, of Dunmore, Pennsylvania, with conspiring with others to provide contraband, including illegal drugs, to inmates at the Lackawanna County Prison.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the criminal information alleges that Cruise conspired with others to provide marijuana, suboxone, synthetic marijuana (“spice”), and tobacco to inmates at the prison between February 2018 and December 2018.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police. Cruise is the fourth person to be charged as a result of the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

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 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 is five 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.


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Updated May 28, 2019

Project Safe Neighborhoods