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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 25, 2022

Two Men Sentenced For Conspiring To Distribute Fentanyl In Lycoming County

WILLIAMSPORT - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Braheem Lewis, 24, of Philadelphia and Ethan Bailey, 23, of Williamsport were sentenced on February 23, 2022, by Chief Judge Matthew W. Brann for their roles in a drug trafficking conspiracy. 

Lewis was sentenced to 48 months’ imprisonment and Bailey was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment.  Both will be required to serve a three-year term of supervised release after serving their imprisonment sentences. 

According to U.S. Attorney John C. Gurganus, Lewis and Bailey conspired to distribute fentanyl in Lycoming County from August 2019 to August 2020.  At the hearing, Chief Judge Brann highlighted the way that the distribution of fentanyl has ravaged this community and the country.

Three other co-defendants were previously sentenced and received the following:

  • Basil Arties, 27, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment;
  • Damion Bethea, 26, was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment; and
  • Kenyon Bonaparte, 21, was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment.

Co-defendants Kevin Bryant and Ira Sims have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Co-defendants Angellitto Lawton and Jordan Watkins are awaiting trial.

The charges stem from an investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police, the Williamsport Bureau of Police, the Lycoming County Narcotics Enforcement Unit, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  Assistant United States Attorney Alisan V. Martin is prosecuting the case.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This prosecution is part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  OCDETF is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

This case was also 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 to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit heroin related offenses.

Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Updated February 25, 2022