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Justice News

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

Thursday, July 21, 2016

New Jersey Man Sentenced To 12 1/2 Years In Prison For Role In Heroin Trafficking

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a Newark, New Jersey man was sentenced to 151  months in prison today by Senior U.S. District Court Judge James M. Munley in Scranton, for distributing heroin in Luzerne County during October 2014.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the defendant, Shaquan Murphy, age 29, previously pleaded guilty on October 11, 2014 to distributing heroin to Luzerne County-based drug traffickers. Murphy was responsible for distributing between 100 and 400 grams of heroin, equivalent to between 3,300 and 13,000 retail bags of heroin.

Murphy was indicted by a federal grand jury in Scranton in October 2014 as a result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Kingston Police, Plymouth Police and the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office.

Judge Munley also ordered Murphy to forfeit his interest in more than $7000 in cash and a vehicle seized during the investigation and placed him on three years of supervised release following his prison sentence.

Murphy was one of six people charged in connection with the drug trafficking operation. Desmond Mercer, the leader of the drug operation, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Co-defendant Shaliek Stroman also pleaded guilty to conspiracy and was sentenced to 151 months in prison. Antuan Jamison, who helped Murphy deliver the drugs on October 11, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and received a five-year prison sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa 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.  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.  

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Drug Trafficking
Updated July 21, 2016