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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Luzerne County Man Indicted For Drug Trafficking And Firearms Offenses

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Brandon Diggs, age 28, of Kingston, Pennsylvania, was indicted on July 10, 2018, by a federal grand jury for drug trafficking and firearms offenses. The indictment was unsealed today following Diggs’ arraignment before United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion. Diggs was detained pending trial.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment alleges that Diggs possessed with the intent to distribute heroin, and possessed a 9mm Springfield Arms handgun as a convicted felon on June 9, 2018, in Luzerne County.

The matter was investigated by the Bureau of alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Kingston Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa is 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. Attorney General Jeff Sessions 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.

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

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.

The maximum penalty under federal law is life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine for the gun offense. That charge also carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment. The maximum penalty for the drug offense is 20 years’ imprisonment. 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
Updated July 18, 2018