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Press Release

Honduran Woman Charged With Possession With Intent To Deliver Approximately Three Kilograms Of Fentanyl

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a Honduran woman was charged with possession with intent to distribute approximately three kilograms of fentanyl.


According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, on June 13, 2017, authorities encountered Osiris Ninet Bonilla-Mejia, a citizen of Honduras, sleeping in the back seat of a vehicle at the White Haven rest area located on Interstate 80, White Haven, Pennsylvania. A search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of approximately three kilograms of fentanyl.


“Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is commonly prescribed by doctors to soothe extreme pain in cancer patients. Because it is up to 100 times more potent than heroin and much cheaper to produce, it has been flooding communities across America resulting in skyrocketing fatal overdoses. It is so potent that an amount the size of a few grains of sand can kill you simply by touching it. Our office treats fentanyl cases extremely seriously and will prosecute those individuals who engage in this illicit activity to the fullest extent of the law” stated United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler.


The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Pennsylvania State Police and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd K. Hinkley.


This case was brought as part of a district-wide initiative to combat the national heroin and opioid abuse epidemic. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Heroin Initiative in the Middle District of Pennsylvania 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. Fentanyl and its analogs are potent, synthetic opioid pain medications that can be hundreds of times more potent than heroin. Fentanyl is often mixed with heroin or sold as heroin by individuals involved in illicit heroin trafficking. Unauthorized recreational use of Fentanyl has resulted in thousands of overdose deaths across the country during the last 15 years.


A criminal complaint is only an allegation. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.


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 20 years of imprisonment, 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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Updated June 15, 2017

Drug Trafficking