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Justice News

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

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Three Men Indicted Federally On Heroin Related Charges

HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Curtis Mitchell, age 37, Harrisburg, Eddie Viera, age 42, Shippensburg, and Brandon Brooks, age 26, York, were indicted in three separate cases today by a federal grand jury in Harrisburg.

According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, Mitchell is charged with the sale of heroin and possession of a short-barreled shotgun.  He was arrested by the Harrisburg Police Department at his residence during the execution of a search warrant on November 16, 2015.  Police had previously observed Mitchell allegedly selling heroin out of his home.  During the search, police allegedly found a short-barreled shotgun under Mitchell’s mattress.  Short-barreled shotguns violate the Federal Firearms Act if not properly registered, and, as a convicted felon, Mitchell is prohibited from possessing any firearm. 

The matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Harrisburg Police Department.  The maximum penalty for this offense is up to life in prison, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. 

Viera is charged with distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin. He was arrested by the Pennsylvania State Police on February 15, 2016 near mile marker 77 of Interstate 81 after a high speed pursuit for nearly 20 miles. Along the route of the pursuit, Troopers found over 950 individual packets of heroin which Viera allegedly had thrown out the window of his car.  Viera was already the subject of an arrest warrant after members of the Franklin County Drug Task Force observed him allegedly distributing heroin and found over 70 individual packets of heroin in his apartment in December 2014.   

The matter was investigated by the Franklin County Drug Task Force, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The maximum penalty for this offense is up to 30 years in prison, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. 

Brooks is charged with possession with the intent to distribute heroin.  He was stopped by West York Police for Driving Under the Influence on November 27, 2015.  During the arrest, officers found 9 bundles, or 90 individual packets, of heroin on Brooks.   

The matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the West York Police Department and York County District Attorney’s Office.  The maximum penalty for this offense is up to 30 years in prison, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.

All three cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott R. Ford.  

These cases were 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.

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.

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 May 4, 2016