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Press Release

Monroe County Man Sentenced To 41 Months’ Imprisonment For Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

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

WILKES-BARRE - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Sherquille Ernest, age 27, of Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on November 13, 2019, by Senior U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo to 41 months’ imprisonment for his role in a Monroe County-based heroin and cocaine trafficking conspiracy.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Ernest previously pleaded guilty and admitted to participating in a conspiracy to distribute between 20 and 40 grams of heroin (which is equivalent to 800 to 1,600 individual doses of heroin), as well as between 28 and 112 grams of crack cocaine, in the Monroe County area between May and July 2015.  Ernest was one of eleven individuals indicted by a grand jury in July 2015 and charged with conspiring to distribute heroin, powder cocaine and crack cocaine in the Monroe County area.         

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. O’Hara prosecuted the case.

This case is 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.  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 enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce crime.

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.       

This prosecution is also part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  OCDETF is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.


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Updated November 14, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods