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Press Release

Luzerne County Man Pleads Guilty To Methamphetamine And Fentanyl Trafficking

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 announced that William Heck, age 41, of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty on January 5, 2023, before U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion, to a charge of possession with intent to distribute more than fifty grams of methamphetamine and additional amounts of fentanyl.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Heck admitted to possessing more than fifty grams of methamphetamine and additional amounts of fentanyl for distribution in the Hazleton area of Luzerne County in 2020.  The charges stem from an incident on October 2, 2020, in which members of the Pennsylvania State Police served a search warrant at a residence in Hazleton, where Heck was living, and seized 226 grams of methamphetamine, 2,464 packets of fentanyl, $4,452 in U.S. currency, and other items of drug paraphernalia.

The charges resulted from an investigation conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force.  Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. O’Hara is prosecuting 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. 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.

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, Heck faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison for the drug trafficking charge, up to a maximum sentence of forty years in prison, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, 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.


Updated January 6, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking