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Justice News

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

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Former Lackawanna County Prison Employee Sentenced To 14 Months’ Imprisonment For Providing Drugs To Inmates

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Jerry Defazio, age 40, of Archbald, Pennsylvania, a former contract employee with the Lackawanna County Prison, was sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment followed by two years’ supervised release by Senior U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo, for 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 previously pleaded guilty to providing and attempting to provide contraband in prison. Defazio admitted that between November 2015 and April 2016, while working 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.

To date, three people have been charged in connection with the investigation. Deanna Tallo previously pleaded guilty to providing contraband in prison, and Thomas Coss pleaded guilty to obtaining and possessing contraband in prison. Both are awaiting sentencing.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa prosecuted the case.


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Drug Trafficking
Updated April 17, 2019