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Justice News

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

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Rhode Island Man Guilty Of Large Scale Drug Trafficking

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Angel Prado, age 46, of Providence, Rhode Island, pleaded guilty on July 9, 2018, to possession with intent to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin before U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Prado admitted to transporting six kilograms of heroin (which is equivalent to approximately 240,000 retail bags of heroin) from Chicago to the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The six kilograms of heroin were seized from a vehicle Prado was driving on Interstate 80 in Monroe County by members of the Pennsylvania State Police on December 19, 2013.

Judge Mariani ordered a presentence report to be completed. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

Prado was indicted by a federal grand jury in July 2015, following an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Pennsylvania State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Francis P. Sempa and Phillip Caraballo are prosecuting 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 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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

The maximum penalty under federal law is life in prison, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. The charge also carries a mandatory minimum penalty of ten years’ imprisonment. 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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Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated July 10, 2018