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Justice News

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

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

North Carolina Man Charged With Possession With Intent To Distribute Heroin

HARRISBURG- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a federal Grand Jury in Harrisburg has returned an indictment charging Alshaqah Tariq Powell, age 43, with possession with intent to distribute heroin.   

According to the United States Attorney Peter Smith, Powell, a resident of North Carolina, was traveling to Dauphin County on Interstate 81 when he was involved in a traffic stop leading to his arrest and discovery of the alleged heroin on November 3, 2015.

This matter was investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police and the Drug Enforcement Agency.  Prosecution has been assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Chelsea Schinnour. 

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.

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 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 is forty years, 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.

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Drug Trafficking
Updated June 22, 2016