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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Thursday, December 19, 2013

New Jersey Man Charged With Possession Of Heroin As Result Of Carlisle Truck Stop Arrest

     A New Jersey man was indicted by a federal grand jury in Harrisburg yesterday on charges of possessing more than 3 ounces of heroin with the intent to distribute.

     United States Attorney Peter J. Smith announced that Rafael Cabrera, 35, of Passaic, New Jersey, was charged in a two count indictment with possessing at least 100 grams of heroin with the intent to distribute it and with traveling in interstate commerce to distribute the drug. Cabrera was arrested on February 11, 2013 at a truck stop in Carlisle by federal and state agents who were conducting surveillance of the location and waiting for Cabrera to arrive. A search of Cabrera and his vehicle led to the alleged seizure of the heroin.

     Cabrera faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years and up to a maximum of 40 years in prison if convicted and faces a potential combined maximum fine of $1.25 million.

     The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police. Prosecution of the case has been assigned to Assistant United States Attorney William A. Behe.

     Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

     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.

     In this case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is 40 years’ imprisonment, 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 9, 2015