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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 16, 2021

Luzerne County Man Charged With Drug Trafficking And Firearms Offenses

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Rasjon Walters, age 26, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was indicted on December 15, 2021, by a federal grand jury for drug trafficking and firearms offenses.

According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, the indictment charges Walters with multiple counts of distribution of fentanyl, using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm between June 2021 through December 2021, in Luzerne County.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Wilkes-Barre Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. O’Hara is prosecuting the case.

This case is being prosecuted as 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.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. 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.

Under federal law, the drug trafficking offenses each carry a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. The charge of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, which must be served consecutive to any other sentence, up to a maximum sentence of life. The charge of felon in possession of a firearm carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.  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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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Updated December 16, 2021