Jury Convicts Harrisburg Bar Owner And A Restaurant Owner For Drug Trafficking And Weapons Offenses
HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that two Harrisburg business owners, Saqueena “Queenie” Williams, age 46, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Nyree “Gram” or “Grannie” Letterlough, age 50, of Harrisburg, were convicted by a federal jury of selling cocaine and using their bar and a local business to conceal their drug trafficking. The jury trial was held this week before U.S. District Court Judge Christopher C. Conner.
According to U.S. Attorney John C. Gurganus, during the trial, the government presented evidence of a years-long investigation of the drug trafficking group, which culminated in the February 1, 2018 arrests and searches of locations under the control of Williams and Letterlough. During those sweeps, police recovered stolen guns, hundreds of grams of cocaine, crack, over $100,000 in cash, a white Bentley convertible, and other evidence.
Williams, the operator of Queenies Café, was convicted of running a drug trafficking conspiracy from 2012 to 2018. The jury also found that five kilograms of cocaine were distributed. Williams was also convicted of possessing guns in furtherance of her drug trafficking and possessing a stolen weapon. Williams also surrendered her interests in Queenies Café located in Harrisburg, as well as the liquor license and other properties.
Letterlough was also convicted of drug trafficking, possessing a gun in furtherance of drug trafficking, and possession of a stolen gun. These items were also seized during the February 1, 2018 sweep. Letterlough also surrendered her interests in Grams Grill located in Harrisburg, and other property.
The case was investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Harrisburg Police Department and numerous other law enforcement agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Consiglio and Samuel Dalke are prosecuting 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.
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 some of the offenses is life 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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