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Justice News

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

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Two Additional Defendants Charged In Monroe County-Based Drug And Sex Trafficking Conspiracies

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a federal grand jury in Scranton returned a second superseding indictment on January 30, 2018, charging two additional defendants, Arthur Taylor, age 35, of Tobyhanna, PA and Jordan Capone, age 23, of Mt. Pocono, PA, with participating in Monroe County-based drug and sex trafficking conspiracies.  

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the second superseding indictment charges Taylor, Capone, and Jamiell Sims, age 29, of East Stroudsburg, PA, with conspiring with each other and others, to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack”), percocet, molly (MDMA), and heroin in an operation that allegedly stretched from New York to Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania to the state of Maine. The second superseding indictment alleges that the drug trafficking conspiracy began in 2010, and continued until the present.

The case was unsealed today following the arrest of Taylor and Capone. Sims had been charged in a previous indictment in October 2016.  All three defendants are in custody.   

It is alleged that the defendants were involved in trafficking more than 100 grams of heroin, which is approximately equivalent to more than 4,000 retail bags. Sims is also charged with four counts of distributing heroin in September-October 2016, and Capone is charged with possession with intent to distribute “molly” (MDMA) during 2012-2014.

The second superseding indictment further alleges that Taylor, Capone, and Sims conspired with each other and others to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion. All three defendants are also charged with four counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion taking place between 2011 and 2014.

The second superseding indictment alleges that the defendants were part of a street gang known as the “Black P-Stones,” whose members allegedly were “beaten-in” or “sexed-in” to the gang.

According to the second superseding indictment, the defendants and/or their co-conspirators obtained heroin and other drugs from suppliers in New York and elsewhere, and distributed the drug to others in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, and Maine.   

It is further alleged that the defendants used intimidation and drugs to coerce females to engage in prostitution at hotels and motels in the Monroe County area, and posted advertisements on the adult entertainment section of a website to solicit customers for prostitution.

Sims is also charged with attempting to tamper with a witness connected to the case. Taylor is charged with conspiracy to interfere with commerce (drugs and money) by robbery.

The charges against the defendants resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, Maine State Police, and local police in Monroe County. 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.

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.

If convicted of the drug conspiracy charge, the defendants face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment and a potential maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment. The drug distribution counts against Sims and Capone each carry a potential maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment. The sex trafficking offenses carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment and a potential maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Sims’ witness tampering charge carries a potential maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment. Taylor’s charge of interference with commerce by robbery carries a potential maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment. 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 February 1, 2018