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Press Release

West Hazleton Man Charged With Firearms And Narcotics Trafficking Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Randell Bruton-Scott, age 33, of West Hazleton, Pennsylvania, was indicted on June 16, 2020, by a federal grand jury with crack cocaine trafficking and firearms offenses.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment charges Bruton-Scott with distributing crack cocaine on five different occasions, and with possessing with the intent to distribute more than 28 grams of crack cocaine, in May and June of 2019.  Bruton-Scott also is charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of his narcotics trafficking and with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.

The matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosive, the Luzerne County Drug Task Force, and the West Hazleton Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Phillip J. Caraballo is prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.  Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.

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.

The penalties under federal law for the most serious drug offense are a minimum five years and maximum 40 years of imprisonment, for the most serious firearms offense are a minimum five years and maximum life of imprisonment, to run consecutive to any other sentenced imposed, and 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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Updated June 19, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods