SCRANTON- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that John Fidanqui-Marten, age 21, formerly of Reading, Pennsylvania, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion to serve 14 years’ imprisonment to be followed by five years’ supervised released based upon his previously entered guilty plea to distributing five grams or more of methamphetamine and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. In addition, he was ordered to pay $3,500 in restitution, as well as a $300 special assessment.
According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Fidanqui-Marten engaged in the large-scale distribution of methamphetamine in 2020. During the course of a drug sale for one pound of methamphetamine in September 2020, he and co-defendant Damar Coad pointed handguns at an undercover police officer and robbed him of $7,500. When the police attempted to apprehend Fidanqui-Marten and Coad, a high-speed car chase ensued and Fidanqui-Marten drove into a ditch and was apprehended in possession of a .9mm handgun and $4,000 of the buy money used to purchase the drugs. Coad was sentenced on July 18, 2023, to seven years’ imprisonment to be followed by three years’ supervised release.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Pennsylvania State Police and was prosecuted by former Assistant U.S. Attorney Johnny Baer and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce D. Brandler.
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