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Press Release

Lackawanna County Man Found Guilty Of Drug Distribution Resulting In Death

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 has announced that on February 8, 2022, Robert Jackson, age 44, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, was found guilty of unlawfully distributing a controlled substance resulting in death after a six-day trial before U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion.

According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, jurors deliberated for approximately one hour before rendering guilty verdicts against Jackson for the July 28, 2020 death of a 58-year-old Monroe County man.  Jackson was also found guilty of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances resulting in death and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.

Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office presented the testimony of Dr. Rameen Starling-Roney, a Forensic Pathologist, and Dr. Michael Coyer, a Forensic Toxicologist, who opined that fentanyl caused the death of the Monroe County man.  Additional testimony was provided by officers and detectives from the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department, and the FBI – Scranton Office who testified that Jackson sold fentanyl to the victim in the evening of July 25, 2020, resulting in his death on July 28, 2020. 

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Scranton, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, and the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorneys Michelle Olshefski and Robert O’Hara prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of a district wide initiative to combat the nationwide epidemic regarding the use and distribution of heroin and other opioids. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Heroin Initiative targets heroin and opioid 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.

This case was also part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

The maximum penalty under federal law is life in prison, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.


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Updated February 9, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking