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Justice News

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

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Scranton Man Guilty Of Conspiracy To Distribute Bath Salts

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Kevin Peterson, age 33, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty on February 13, 2017, before Senior U.S. District Court Judge James M. Munley to participating in a conspiracy to distribute alpha-pvp, commonly known as “bath salts.”


According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Peterson admitted to agreeing with others to distribute the drug to customers in the Luzerne County area during 2014 and 2015. Peterson resided in Luzerne County at the time he was involved in the conspiracy.


Peterson was one of seven people charged by a grand jury in August 2016. That indictment was the fourth wave of arrests connected to alpha-pvp distribution in Luzerne County. In all, 18 people have been charged in the case since July 2013, including the Texas-based principal supplier of the bath salts. Peterson is the thirteenth defendant to plead guilty in the case.


Judge Munley ordered a pre-sentence investigation to be completed and scheduled sentencing in the case for May 16, 2017.


The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, United States Postal Inspectors, the Pennsylvania State Police, and local police from Luzerne 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 20 years’ 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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Drug Trafficking
Updated February 14, 2017