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Justice News

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

Friday, December 9, 2016

Hazleton Man Guilty Of Selling Heroin Near School

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Israel Calcano-Garcia, age 44, of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, who is a citizen of the Dominican Republic, pleaded guilty today to distributing heroin within 1,000 feet of a school, before U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani in Scranton.

According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the defendant, Calcano-Garcia, admitted to selling heroin in January 2015 near the Immanuel Christian School in Hazleton. Calcano-Garcia admitted to distributing between 80 and 100 grams of heroin, which is approximately equivalent to between 2,700 and 4,000 retail bags of heroin.

Judge Mariani ordered a pre-sentence investigation to be completed. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

Calcano-Garcia was indicted by a federal grand jury in Scranton in September 2015, as a result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Hazleton Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the case.

This case was brought as part of a district wide initiative to combat the nationwide epidemic regarding the use and distribution of heroin.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Heroin Initiative targets heroin traffickers operating in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and is part of a coordinated effort among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit heroin related offenses.

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 for this offense is 40 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. There is also a mandatory minimum one-year prison sentence for distributing heroin within one thousand feet of a school. 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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Drug Trafficking
Updated December 9, 2016