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Press Release

Three Men Charged With Federal Drug Trafficking Crimes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that three men have been charged with federal drug trafficking crimes.

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, on September 14, 2021, a federal grand jury in Scranton indicted Erwin Montes Deoca, age 27, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on charges alleging that he distributed cocaine and fentanyl in March and April 2021.   Additionally, federal criminal complaints were filed today alleging that Alan Kevin Robles Montes Deoca, age 27, and Jonathan Fontanez, age 36, both of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania  possessed with intent to distribute fentanyl and cocaine.  Law enforcement officers arrested the three individuals today and they appeared before United States Magistrate Joseph F. Saporito, Jr. in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, for their initial hearings on the charges. 

The arrests, in part, are the result of federal search warrants executed this morning at residences in Wilkes-Barre which resulted the following seizures:

  • 39 Regent Street, Wilkes-Barre – approximately five kilograms of cocaine; over 3,000 pills of fentanyl; two handguns; tens of thousands of dollars;
  • 10 Minden Place, Wilkes-Barre – approximately 100 grams of cocaine; tens of thousands of dollars; approximately 1,000 pills of fentanyl;
  • 125 Waller Street, Wilkes-Barre – approximately five kilograms of cocaine; tens of thousands of dollars; thousands of fentanyl pills.

Law enforcement agents arrested (1) Alan Kevin Robles Montes Deoca at 125 Waller Street, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; (2) Jonathan Orlando Fontanez at 10 Minden Street, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; and (3) Erwin Montes Deoca at 39 Regent Street, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in connection with the service of the federal search warrants. 

"The allegations against these defendants, and the substantial amount of illegal drugs, cash, and guns that were recovered from the search warrants this morning, are indicative of the threat that drug-traffickers pose to our communities," said Acting Special Agent in Charge Thomas Hodnett of the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division.  "I want to thank our partners at the Wilkes-Barre Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Luzerne County District Attorney's Office, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for our collaboration on this case.  Working partnerships like these are what lead to successful investigations." 

“The investigation is the result of the cooperative effort of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies working within the Wilkes-Barre City and Luzerne County targeting drug trafficking and violent crime,” stated Chief Joseph Coffay, Wilkes-Barre City Police Department. “I personally appreciate the cooperation and effort from all of the investigators involved.”

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Wilkes-Barre City Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd K. Hinkley is prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement 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 enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce crime.

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

The maximum penalty under federal law for the offenses against Erwin Montes Deoca and Jonathan Fontanez is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. The maximum penalty under federal law for the offenses against Alan Kevin Robles Montes Deoca 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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Updated September 22, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods