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Justice News

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

Friday, April 14, 2017

Schuylkill County Man Guilty Of Methamphetamine Trafficking

SCRANTON- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Ernest Schaeffer, age 41, of Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion to conspiring with others to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.


According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Schaeffer admitted to committing the offense between June and October 2016. Schaeffer was indicted by a federal grand jury in January 2017.


Judge Mannion ordered a pre-sentence investigation to be completed. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.


Under the terms of the plea agreement, Schaeffer agreed to forfeit to the government a residence and property in Schuylkill Haven that was connected to the drug trafficking operation, and four firearms.


The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, and local police in Schuylkill County. Assistant United States Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the case.


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.


The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. There is also a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. 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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Drug Trafficking
Updated April 14, 2017