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Press Release

Western PennsylvaniaTrio Indicted For Conspiracy To Distribute A Half-Pound Of Heroin

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

WILLIAMSPORT – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today a federal grand jury in Williamsport returned a two-count indictment charging three residents of Westmoreland County with conspiracy to distribute a half-pound of heroin.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the grand jury charged Brian Keith Robinson, Cesare Biagio Palumbi, and Natawsha Durand with conspiracy to distribute approximately 224 grams (about a half pound) of heroin recovered in a rental vehicle following their arrests on February 26, 2015 by Scott Township Police Department officers on State Route 487 near Interstate 80 in Columbia County.  The indictment also charges them with distribution and possession of heroin.

Robinson, age 31, and Durand, age, 20, are residents of New Kensington, Pennsylvania.  Palumbi, age 23, is a resident of Irwin, Pennsylvania.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation together with the Scott Township Police Department, South Centre Township Police, the Columbia County Drug Task Force, and the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney George J. Rocktashel has been assigned to the prosecution of this matter.

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 sentencing judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law is 40 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the sentencing 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 September 10, 2015

Drug Trafficking