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Justice News

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

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Luzerne County Man Charged With Heroin And Cocaine Offenses

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a grand jury sitting in Scranton, Pennsylvania has returned an indictment charging Roberto Sanchez, age 37, of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, with conspiracy to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin and more than 500 grams of cocaine.  The grand jury also charged Sanchez with counts relating to the possession with the intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin, and an additional count charging that he possessed with the intent to distribute an unspecified quantity of cocaine. The indictment further seeks forfeiture of $54,283.00 in US Currency.

According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, the charges in the indictment stem from Robert Sanchez’s arrest by United States Marshals on a warrant issued by New York authorities.  In the process of the arrest, the Marshals determined that there were drugs on the premises and contacted agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration to assist.  Ultimately, Sanchez was found to have in his possession within the residence more than 300 grams of heroin, more than 100 grams of cocaine, and $54,283.00 in United States currency.

The maximum penalty under the federal statute for conspiracy to distribute more than 1 kilogram of heroin is life imprisonment. Sanchez also faces a term of supervised release following imprisonment and a fine, if convicted.  Sanchez is presently in custody at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility.

Prosecution of the case is assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney John Gurganus.

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 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.

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Updated May 12, 2015