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Press Release

Former Lackawanna County Prison Employee Guilty Of Providing Drugs And Other 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 today that Jerry Defazio, age 39, of Archbald, Pennsylvania, a former contract employee with the Lackawanna County Prison, pleaded guilty on December 21, 2017, before Senior U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo, to providing and attempting to provide prohibited objects, including illegal drugs, to inmates at the Lackawanna County Prison.


According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Defazio admitted that between November 2015 and April 2016, while overseeing the food service at the prison, he provided and attempted to provide Oxycontin pills (oxycodone), suboxone, and tobacco to inmates on several occasions and received payments ranging from $50 to $600 for smuggling the drugs and tobacco into the prison.


Judge Caputo scheduled sentencing for April 23, 2018.


The investigation was conducted 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 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.


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Updated December 22, 2017

Drug Trafficking