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Press Release

Former Lackawanna County Prison Contract Employee Guilty Of Providing Drugs 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 Brenda Cruise, age 48, of Dunmore, pleaded guilty on September 3, 2019 before U.S. District Court Judge James M. Munley, to conspiracy to provide contraband to inmates at the Lackawanna County Prison.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Cruise admitted that while she worked as a contract employee at the prison, she participated in a scheme to bring marijuana, suboxone, synthetic marijuana (“spice”), and tobacco to inmates at the prison between February 2018 and December 2018.

Cruise is the fourth person to be charged and plead guilty as a result of the investigation.  Sentencing for Cruise is scheduled for December 4, 2019.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the case.

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 September 4, 2019