You are here

Justice News

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

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hazleton Man Pleads Guilty To Heroin Trafficking

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a Hazleton man pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani in Scranton, to trafficking in large quantities of heroin in January 2016.

According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the defendant, Ryan Hunsinger, age 27, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute in excess of 100 grams of heroin. Hunsinger admitted to traveling to Philadelphia where he obtained more than 700 grams of heroin. Agents and police seized more than 19,000 bags of heroin from Hunsinger’s vehicle on January 18, 2016, near Hazleton.

Hunsinger was indicted by a federal grand jury in Scranton in February 2016, as a result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Hazleton Police.

Judge Mariani ordered a presentence investigation to be completed. Sentencing will be scheduled after the pre-sentence investigation is completed. Hunsinger is detained in prison pending sentencing. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a potential maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

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.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 40 years in prison, 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.


# # #

Drug Trafficking
Updated October 4, 2016