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Press Release

Luzerne County Man Sentenced To Three Years In Prison For Participating In Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy

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 today that Charles Davis, III, age 46, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on September 28, 2018, to three years’ imprisonment and to serve four years on supervised release by Senior U.S. District Court Judge James M. Munley, for his role in a heroin trafficking conspiracy that operated in Luzerne County during February through November 2014.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Davis previously admitted to transporting Desmond Mercer, the leader of the conspiracy, to numerous heroin transactions and to distributing heroin for Mercer to other customers in Luzerne County. Davis admitted to involvement in the distribution of between 100 and 400 grams of heroin, which is approximately equivalent to between 4,000 and 16,000 retail bags of heroin.

Davis is the last member of the drug ring to be sentenced to prison in the case. Desmond Mercer, the leader of the drug conspiracy, previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Shaliek Stroman and Shaquan Murphy, two key associates of Mercer, were each sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for their roles in the conspiracy. The remaining members of the conspiracy received the following prison sentences:

  • Antuan Jamison—five years
  • Omar Bell—52 months
  • Megan Fox—30 months
  • Brandy Malinosky—28 months
  • Cleveland Linder, Jr—27 months
  • Corey Wortham—18 months
  • Brianna Rattigan—one year

Davis was indicted by a federal grand jury in February 2016, as a result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, and the Kingston Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa prosecuted 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 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.


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Updated October 1, 2018

Project Safe Neighborhoods