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Press Release

Monroe County Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Heroin Trafficking And Firearms Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a Monroe County man pleaded guilty today in United States District Court in Scranton, before Senior United States District Judge Edwin M. Kosik, to heroin trafficking and firearms charges.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Joseph Crawford, age 41, of Marshalls Creek, pleaded guilty to the charges of possession with intent to distribute heroin and being a convicted felon in possession of firearms.  Crawford and another man, Harry Rivera, age 39, of East Stroudsburg, were indicted by a grand jury in Scranton in November 2014. The charges stemmed from an incident on June 17, 2014, in Monroe County, in which investigators found approximately 97 grams of heroin within a hidden compartment in a vehicle in which Crawford and Rivera were travelling.  In addition, police seized a Glock pistol and a Smith &Wesson rifle after a search of Crawford’s residence in Marshall’s Creek.  Crawford, who was previously convicted of a felony offense, is prohibited by law from possessing a firearm.

The charges against Rivera are currently pending.

The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department and the Stroud Area Regional Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. O’Hara.

A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty for all charges under the federal statutes is imprisonment for 30 years, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.  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.

Updated April 17, 2015