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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 3, 2018

Seven York County Individuals Indicted On Drug Trafficking And Firearms Charges

HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a federal grand jury in Harrisburg indicted seven individuals in two separate indictments on April 25, 2018, on drug trafficking and firearms charges. 

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictments charge the following defendants for offenses that took place between November 2017 and April 2018 in York County:

  • Francisco Rivera-Rivera, age 26 – is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin; one count of possession of a firearm in further of a drug trafficking crime; one count of felon in possession of firearm; one count of possession of a stolen firearm; and four counts of distribution of heroin; 
  • Axel Pena-Reyes, age 24 – is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin; two counts of distribution of heroin; one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin, marijuana, cocaine base and cocaine hydrochloride;
  • Jessica Curet, age 37 – is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute 100 grams of heroin (which is equivalent to approximately 4,000-5,000 individual doses); six counts of distribution of heroin; two counts of distribution of cocaine base; one count of felon in possession of firearm;
  • Christopher Cruz-Ortiz, age 23 - is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin; nine counts of felon in possession of firearm; five counts of possession of a stolen firearm; one count of distribution of heroin; three counts of possession of a firearm with obliterated serial number;
  • Jaiell Montalvo, age 19 - is charged with one count of felon in possession of firearm; one count of possession of a firearm with obliterated serial number;
  • Deondre Densby, age 35 – is charged with one count of felon in possession of firearm; one count of possession of a stolen firearm; and
  • Edwin Garbrial Ramos-Reyes, age 37 – is charged with one count of being a felon in possession of firearm.

The indictment also alleges that defendants sold 16 firearms, including 15 pistols and one AK style rifle. Of the firearms that were sold, six were confirmed stolen, and three had their serial numbers obliterated.

“There are two important takeaways from today’s announcement,” said United States Attorney Freed.  “First, our concerted efforts to address violent crime in York are a team effort and we are true partners.  And we are not going anywhere. In the last few years the United States Attorney’s office has prosecuted more than 70 violent felons from York.  And as long as this criminal behavior continues, we will be standing together with our local partners.  Second, today’s announcement again underscores that drug dealing is inherently violent activity.  Illegal drugs and illegal guns go hand in hand.  We will not rest in our mission to reduce violence in this city.”

"This investigation is an example of ATF’s dedication to working with our state, local and federal partners in identifying, targeting, and investigating violent criminals who are involved in selling narcotics and firearms who prey upon innocent citizens and lessen the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Donald Robinson. “Our neighborhoods deserve to exist without fear and intimidation inflicted by all violent drug gangs. We will continue to work with our partners to impact the violent drug related activity that has wreaked havoc throughout York.”

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), York City Police Department, York County District Attorney’s Office, the York County Drug Task Force and West Manchester Police Department, with assistance on arrests of defendants by York County Probation and the United States Marshal Service Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daryl Bloom 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. Attorney General Jeff Sessions 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.

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 the charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin; distribution of heroin; possession with intent to distribute heroin; distribution of cocaine base are all up to 20 years’ imprisonment; the charges of felon in possession; possession of a stolen firearm; felon in possession and aiding and abetting; possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number are all up to 10 years’ imprisonment; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking is up to 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
Updated May 3, 2018