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Justice News

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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Two Men Indicted On Federal Drug Trafficking Charges

HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that two men allegedly involved in drug trafficking in York and Berks Counties were indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury in Harrisburg.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Ruben Guadalupe Morales, age 25, and Jose G. Avila, age 28, both of Reading, were charged in an indictment with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms and more of cocaine hydrochloride and 280 grams of crack cocaine during January through April 2016.  Each man was also accused of possessing with intent to distribute cocaine on April 27, 2016.  Avila was also charged with possessing firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.  The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of U.S. currency totaling approximately $137,000 seized by law enforcement agencies during the investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the York City Police Department.

Both men were arrested on April 27.

The case is assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Christy H. Fawcett. 

If convicted each defendant faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $10,000,000 fine, and a lifetime of supervised release.  Avila is also subject to a five-year mandatory minimum for the firearms charge which must be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed. 

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 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 20, 2016