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Justice News

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

Friday, March 9, 2018

Schuylkill County Man Guilty Of Methamphetamine Trafficking Conspiracy

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that David Castro, age 28, of Pottsville, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, before U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Castro, admitted to committing the offense between July 2016 and May 24, 2017, in Schuylkill County and elsewhere.

Castro was indicted by a grand jury along with three other persons in August 2017.

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

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, and local police from Schuylkill County. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the case.   

This case was 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.

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 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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Drug Trafficking
Updated March 9, 2018