Two Schuylkill County Men Charged With Conspiracy To Distribute Heroin And Methamphetamine
SCRANTON- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Marquese Whitted, age 30, and Derek Mountz, age 32, both of Schuylkill County, were indicted on January 17, 2017, by a federal grand jury for participating in a methamphetamine and heroin trafficking conspiracy that operated in Schuylkill and Berks Counties in April-October 2016.
According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the indictment alleges that Whitted and Mountz conspired with each other and others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and more than 100 grams (which is equivalent to approximately 4,000 retail bags) of heroin during April through October of 2016.
Whitted is also charged with nine counts of methamphetamine and/or heroin trafficking. Mountz is also charged with two counts of methamphetamine trafficking and possessing a firearm in connection with drug trafficking.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Shenandoah Police. 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 to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit heroin related offenses.
This case was also brought as part of the Violent Crime Reduction Partnership (“VCRP”), a district wide initiative to combat the spread of violent crime in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the VCRP consists of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies whose mission is to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit violent crimes with firearms.
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 for the gun charge is life in prison, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. The drug conspiracy charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a potential maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. The gun charge also carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison. 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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