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Justice News

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

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Hazleton Man Pleads Guilty To Pill Distribution Conspiracy

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a Hazleton man pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion in Scranton, to conspiring with others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone, hydrocodone, Tramadol, Diazepam, and other Schedule II and IV drugs.

According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the defendant, Franklin Tejeda, age 35, admitted to regularly orchestrating the delivery of parcels of Schedule II and IV pills to co-conspirators’ residences in Hazleton, and distributing the drugs to customers. The illegal conduct occurred between November 2014 and March 2016. The drugs were obtained from suppliers in India.

Tejeda was charged in a criminal information filed by the United States Attorney’s Office in April 2016. The charge stemmed from an investigation by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Postal Inspectors, and Hazleton Police.

Judge Mannion ordered a presentence investigation to be completed and will schedule sentencing after the pre-sentence investigation is completed. Tejeda faces a potential maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the case.  

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 20 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.

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Drug Trafficking
Updated October 20, 2016