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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 15, 2018

Two Additional Individuals Charged With Smuggling Drugs And Contraband To Inmates

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Deanna Tallo, age 29, of Throop, Pennsylvania, and Thomas Coss, age 36, currently an inmate in state prison, were indicted on March 13, 2018,  by a federal grand jury for smuggling suboxone and tobacco into the Lackawanna County Prison during July 2015 and April 2016. The case was unsealed today following the arrest of Tallo.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment alleges that Tallo provided and attempted to provide suboxone and tobacco to inmates at the prison between July 2015 and April 2016, and that during that same time period Coss, then an inmate at the prison, obtained and possessed suboxone and tobacco.

In December 2017, Jerry Defazio, a former contract employee at the prison, pleaded guilty to providing and attempting to provide drugs and tobacco to inmates at the prison. He is awaiting sentencing.

The charges against Tallo and Coss stem from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the case.

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 20 years’ 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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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated March 15, 2018