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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Scranton Man Charged With Drug Trafficking, Firearms Offenses And Escape

SCRANTON -The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on November 9, 2021, Jason Charles Lajoie, age 45, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, was charged by a federal grand jury on a superseding indictment with drug trafficking, firearms offenses, and escape.

According to Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the superseding indictment alleges that Lajoie distributed at least five grams of pure methamphetamine on multiple occasions between June 3, 2019 and February 25, 2021, and Lajoie also possessed with intent to distribute at least five grams of pure methamphetamine on February 25, 2021. It is alleged that the drug transactions occurred after Lajoie had previously been convicted and served a sentence for another serious felony drug trafficking offense. The superseding indictment also alleges that Lajoie possessed multiple firearms during and in relation to his drug trafficking activities as a previously convicted felon. Last, the superseding indictment alleges that Lajoie escaped from custody at the Lackawanna County Prison on October 24, 2021.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Marshals and the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenny P. Roberts is prosecuting the case.

This prosecution is part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  OCDETF is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

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. 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
Prescription Drugs
Firearms Offenses
Updated November 10, 2021