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Press Release

Luzerne County Man Sentenced To 20 Years’ Imprisonment For Drug Distribution Resulting In Death

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 Rodney Williams, age 36, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on October 17, 2019 to 20 years’ imprisonment followed by three years on supervised release by Senior U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo, for distributing fentanyl and heroin to another person that resulted in the death of that person.   

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Williams previously pleaded guilty to supplying fentanyl and heroin to a drug customer on December 17, 2017, and the customer subsequently died as a result of ingesting the drugs in Kingston, Pennsylvania. Police found the deceased’s body on December 19, 2017.

Agents and police seized several firearms from Williams’ residence during the investigation, and Judge Caputo ordered the firearms forfeited to the government.

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 prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.        

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.


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Updated October 18, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods