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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 3, 2019

Three Men Charged With Drug Trafficking And Firearms Offenses

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Ronald McKenna, age 39, of Wilkes-Barre, Drew Miller, age 34, of East Stroudsburg, and William Hill, age 38, of East Stroudsburg, were indicted on October 1, 2019, by a federal grand jury for drug trafficking and firearms offenses.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment charges McKenna with conspiracy to distribute heroin and possessing firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking; it charges Miller with using a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime; and it charges Hill with using a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime and possessing, and bartering a stolen firearm.  

The conspiracy charge alleges that McKenna conspired with others to distribute heroin in Monroe County between September 2016 and February 2019. The indictment also alleges that all three men committed the gun offenses in February 2019.

The matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Stroud Area Regional Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the cases.

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.

Indictments and Criminal Informations 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 is life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine for using or possessing a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking offense. Those charges also carry a mandatory minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment. McKenna also faces a potential maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment for the drug conspiracy charge. Hill also faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment if convicted of the possession/bartering of stolen firearm charge. 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 October 3, 2019