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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 21, 2018

Schuylkill County Man Guilty Of Participating In A Heroin And Methamphetamine Trafficking Conspiracy

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Marquese Whitted, age 33, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo, to participating in a conspiracy to distribute heroin and methamphetamine in Schuylkill and Berks Counties.  

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Whitted admitted to conspiring with others to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin (which is equivalent to more than 4,000 retail bags of heroin) and more than 50 grams of methamphetamine during April through October of 2016.

Whitted was indicted by a federal grand jury in January 2017, as a result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, and local police in Schuylkill County. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the case.

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. The Department of Justice 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.

This case was also 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.

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 40 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. There is also a mandatory minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment for the offense. 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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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated December 21, 2018