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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 23, 2020

New Jersey Man Indicted For Possessing Firearms In Furtherance Of Drug Trafficking Offense

WILLIAMSPORT - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Jamir M. Ceruti, age 22, of Burlington, New Jersey, was indicted on January 23, 2020, by a federal grand jury on drug trafficking and firearms charges.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment alleges that Ceruti possessed with the intent to distribute multiple bags of cocaine and marihuana in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on March 23, 2018.  The indictment also alleges that Ceruti possessed a Glock semi-automatic pistol, loaded with a 30-round magazine, and a stolen, and loaded, Ruger semi-automatic pistol in furtherance of his drug trafficking activities.  Ceruti also allegedly possessed magazines and 58 loose cartridges, in addition to the two pistols.

The case was investigated by the Williamsport Bureau of Police, the Lycoming County District Attorney’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney George J. Rocktashel is prosecuting the case.

This case was brought as 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 law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.  

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.  Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NCIS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. 

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

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

The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is life in prison, 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.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years

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Topic(s): 
Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated January 23, 2020