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Press Release

Luzerne County Man Sentenced To 10 Years’ Imprisonment For Drug 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 Edirso De Leon Frias, age 29, of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania was sentenced on April 15, 2021, by United States District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani to 10 years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute over one kilogram of heroin and over 500 grams of cocaine.   

According to Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, De Leon Frias pled guilty to being an organizer of a drug trafficking organization operating in and around Luzerne County.  De Leon Frias was responsible for more than one kilogram of heroin and more than 500 grams of cocaine, and possessed a firearm during the commission of the drug offense.  One kilogram of heroin is the equivalent of approximately 40,000 individual doses. 

Fourteen other defendants have previously been sentenced on charges arising from this investigation.  Most notably, Jose Ramon de Leon Pineda was sentenced to 188 months’ imprisonment, and Juan Roman Polanco was sentenced to 151 months’ imprisonment.  Both men were also leaders in their drug trafficking conspiracies, and both men possessed firearms during the course of the conspiracy.

This conviction was the result of a year-long investigation, in part driven by multiple wiretaps, conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Wilkes-Barre Police Department, and Pennsylvania State Police.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean A. Camoni prosecuted 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. The Department of Justice 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 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.

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Updated April 16, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking