Shenandoah Man Guilty Of Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy
SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Shane Lopez, age 22, of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today before Senior U.S. District Court Judge James M. Munley for his connection to a heroin trafficking ring that operated in Schuylkill County during 2012 through May 2016.
According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Lopez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin (which equals approximately 4,000 retail bags of heroin). Lopez admitted to being a sub-distributor of heroin for Rhashean Strange, a/k/a “Chicago,” who headed-up the conspiracy. Strange previously pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing. Eleven people have been charged in the case. Seven have entered guilty pleas.
Judge Munley ordered a presentence investigation to be completed, and scheduled sentencing for May 5, 2017. Lopez faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a potential maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, and Shenandoah Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the case.
This case was 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.
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 40 years in prison, 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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