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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 22, 2018

Philadelphia Woman Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison For Conspiring To Distribute Heroin And Cocaine

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, announced that Suheidy Soto-Concepcion, age 33, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on March 20, 2018, to 10 years’ imprisonment by U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones, III, for conspiring to distribute heroin in Lebanon County.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the two-year investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Lebanon County Drug Task Force culminated with the execution of search warrants at 513 Arnold Street and 443 North 6th Street, in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, on May 14, 2015.  During the search at 513 Arnold Street, law enforcement agents discovered a “heroin mill” where kilogram amounts of heroin were being processed on a weekly basis.  The investigation revealed that Julio Aviles, Sr., a previously convicted drug dealer, owned and operated the heroin mill and employed a network of sellers, packagers, brokers and testers to conduct this illegal enterprise.  All together 13 individuals were charged.  Soto-Concepcion’s role was to supervise the packaging operation. Packagers were paid approximately $500 a week like factory workers to process and package the heroin for later distribution.  The testers operated as quality assurance inspectors to ensure the heroin was of sufficient quality.  At the time of the searches, law enforcement agents found over 400 grams of heroin, over 85 grams of cocaine powder, and over 71 grams of crack cocaine.  A kilogram of heroin, which weighs approximately 2.2 pounds is equivalent to approximately 40,000 to 50,000 individual doses of heroin, any one of which can be fatal depending on its purity and the nature of its other ingredients.  In this case the evidence established that the drug trafficking organization was mixing the heroin with Fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone and Lidocaine.  Law enforcement agents estimated that this drug operation was distributing heroin, crack cocaine, and cocaine for a two-year period and during the last few months was distributing kilogram quantities of heroin, crack cocaine and cocaine powder.  The value of the drugs distributed has a conservative street value of between $3 million and $5 million. 

Located in the processing room were over 52,000 small Ziploc style bags, 37,000 small glassine bags and over 28,000 rubber bands that are used to package controlled substances.  Each rubber band was used to package ten individual bags of heroin, called a bundle.     

Law enforcement also located three handguns, ten rifles, six shotguns and paraphernalia consistent with a large-scale drug trafficking operation.  During the search at 443 North 6th Street, law enforcement officers located additional quantities of heroin, cocaine powder, and crack cocaine along with drug packaging materials.

The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Lebanon County Drug Task Force, Lebanon County Detective Bureau, Lebanon City Police Department, Cornwall Borough Police Department, and assisted by the Lebanon County Probation Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Daryl F. Bloom and Special Assistant United States Attorney Nichole Eisenhart, who also serves as the First Assistant District Attorney in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, 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 to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit heroin related offenses.

This case was also 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. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

 

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated March 22, 2018