Previously Convicted Felon Charged With Firearm And Drug Offenses
SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that an Edwardsville man was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury in Scranton on firearm and drug possession offenses.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the indictment charges Willie Garcia, age 47, with being a felon in possession of a firearm, using that firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking activities and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
The charges stem from a joint investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Edwardsville Police Department. The charge arose out of a police response to a 911 call concerning a shooting and resulted in the alleged recovery of marijuana and a loaded firearm from Garcia’s home.
Prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Evan Gotlob.
This case was brought as part of the Violent Crime Reduction Partnership (“VCRP”), a district wide initiative to combat the spread of violent crime in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the VCRP consists of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies whose mission is to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit violent crimes
Garcia faces a minimum of 5 years and up to a lifetime term of incarceration as well as fines totaling $1,500,000.
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.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is 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.
# # #