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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Hazleton Man Sentenced To 37 Months’ Imprisonment For Heroin Trafficking

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Franklin Gonzalez, age 23, who resided in Hazleton and is a citizen of the Dominican Republic, was sentenced yesterday to 37 months’ imprisonment by Senior U.S. District Court Judge James M. Munley, for participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy that distributed heroin in the Schuylkill County area between 2012 and May 2016.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the defendant previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin, which is equivalent to more than 4,000 retail bags of heroin.   

Judge Munley also ordered Gonzalez to serve four years on supervised release following his prison sentence. Gonzalez is also subject to being deported to the Dominican Republic.

The mater was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, and local police in Schuylkill County. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa prosecuted the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

This case was also 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.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated June 4, 2019