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Press Release

Monroe County Man Sentenced To 25 Years’ Imprisonment For Distributing Controlled Substances Resulting In Death

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

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Johnson and Nickas were engaged in a conspiracy to obtain and distribute controlled substances, heroin and fentanyl, for the time beginning January 2020 through March 2021, which resulted in a death.  Both defendants were also found guilty of aiding and abetting each other in the December 10, 2020 distribution of heroin and fentanyl, resulting in that death.

Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office presented the testimony of multiple witnesses during trial, including Dr. Michael Coyer, a Forensic Toxicologist, who opined that death resulted from the use of heroin and fentanyl; and a PSP Forensic Chemist, who analyzed drugs found at the scene of the death.  Additional testimony was provided by officers and detectives from the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office; the Pennsylvania State Police; the Pocono Township Police Department, the FBI – Scranton Office; and an FBI special agent from the Pittsburgh Office.

Nickas is currently scheduled to be sentenced on February 3, 2023.

The charges stem from a joint investigation involving the FBI in Scranton, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorneys Michelle Olshefski and Sean Camoni 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 and fentanyl.  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.

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Updated January 6, 2023

Topics
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking