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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 27, 2015

Two Luzerne County Women Plead Guilty To Participation In Bath Salts Conspiracy

HARRISBURG- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that two Luzerne County residents pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion in Scranton, to participating in a two-year conspiracy to distribute alpha-pvp, commonly known as “bath salts,” in Luzerne County.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Maura Kathio, age 26, of Yatesville, and Marguerita Ann Davis, age 59, of Kingston, admitted to obtaining alpha-pvp from suppliers in West Pittston and distributing the drug to others in the Luzerne County area between December 2011 and August 2013.

The two women were indicted by a federal grand jury in August 2014, as a result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, the Pennsylvania State Police, and West Pittston Police.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the cases.

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 for both defendants under federal law is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a $1 million 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.

Judge Mannion ordered a pre-sentence report to be completed. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

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Updated April 27, 2015