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Press Release

Philadelphia Man Sentenced For Fentanyl Distribution

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

WILLIAMSPORT - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Ira Sims, age 24, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 100 months’ imprisonment to be followed by 3 years of supervised release by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Matthew W. Brann for his role in a fentanyl distribution conspiracy based in Williamsport. 

According to U.S. Attorney John C. Gurganus, Sims previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute fentanyl from August 2019 to August 2020 in Williamsport. 

At the sentencing, Chief Judge Brann highlighted the way that fentanyl has ravaged this community and the country, along with the fact that Sims was being supervised for a prior drug-trafficking conviction when he engaged in the criminal conduct that led to his federal charges.

Six other co-defendants were previously sentenced and received the following:

  • Braheem Lewis, age 24, was sentenced to 48 months’ imprisonment;
  • Kevin Bryant, age 23, was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment;
  • Ethan Bailey, age 23, was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment;
  • Basil Arties, 27, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment;
  • Damion Bethea, 26, was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment; and
  • Kenyon Bonaparte, 21, was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment.

Co-defendants Angellitto Lawton and Jordan Watkins are awaiting trial.

The charges stem from an investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police, the Williamsport Bureau of Police, the Lycoming County Narcotics Enforcement Unit, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  Assistant United States Attorney Alisan V. Martin is prosecuting the case.

This prosecution is 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.

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 to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit heroin related offenses.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Updated April 25, 2022

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