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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Lackawanna County Man Charged With Drug Trafficking And Firearms Offenses

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Moises Vargas-Olivio, age 21, of Olyphant, Pennsylvania, was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury on drug trafficking and firearms offenses.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, the indictment alleges that on May 25, 2022, in Lackawanna County, Vargas-Olivio sold cocaine to another individual, possessed additional cocaine for further distribution, and possessed firearms, including an illegal shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches in length, in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

The charges against Vargas-Olivio resulted from an investigation conducted by Lackawanna County Detectives, the Olyphant Police Department, and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force.  Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. O’Hara and Special Assistant United States Attorney Brian Gallagher are prosecuting the case.

This case is also 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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Under federal law, for the firearms charges, Vargas-Olivio faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison, which must run consecutive to any other sentence, a maximum sentence of life, a term of supervised release and a fine. For the drug trafficking charges, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of twenty years, a term of supervised release and a fine. 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.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated September 14, 2022