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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 22, 2014

Illinois Woman Pleads Guilty To Travelling Interstate To Promote Heroin Trafficking

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a Mexican national who was residing in Illinois at the time of her arrest, pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani to interstate travel in aid of a drug trafficking conspiracy.

     According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the defendant, Maria Pina, age 44, admitted to transporting heroin from Illinois to Pennsylvania on February 12, 2014.

     Pina was charged in an Information filed on June 22, 2014. The charge against Pina resulted from an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Pennsylvania State Police, and Berks County Detectives.

     Pina faces a potential maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

     The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa.

     A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

     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.

Updated April 17, 2015