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Justice News

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

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Wilkes-Barre Man Charged With Illegal Possession Of A Firearm

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today a felony Criminal Information was filed late yesterday in U.S. District Court in Scranton charging Jorge Mojica, age 24, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, with possessing and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking from July 2013 to April  2014.      

United States Attorney Peter Smith stated that the charge is the result of an investigation conducted by the Wilkes-Barre Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).  Prosecution is assigned to Special Assistant United States Attorney Jill Matthews of the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office and Assistant United States Attorney Todd K. Hinkley.

As part of the criminal charge, the government is seeking forfeiture of a .40 caliber handgun with an altered serial number and a 9 mm rifle seized by the Wilkes-Barre Police and Pennsylvania State Police at the time of the defendant’s arrest on April 17, 2014. Mojica has been held in custody on local charges since the arrest.

Filed with the Criminal Information, the government filed a plea agreement which is subject to the approval of the court.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.  If found guilty, Mojica faces a mandatory minimum sentence of seven (7) years, and a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison and $250,000 in fines.

A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

In this particular case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is life imprisonment, 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 11, 2015