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Press Release

Wilkes-Barre Man Indicted For Drug Trafficking And Firearms 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 on April 27, 2021, Michael Jones, Jr, age 40, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was indicted by a federal grand jury for drug trafficking and firearms offenses.

According to Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the indictment alleges that between December 2020 and March 14, 2021, Jones conspired with others to traffic at least 280 grams of crack cocaine and 40 grams of fentanyl.  On March 14-15, 2021 Jones also possessed with intent to distribute crack cocaine, fentanyl, and methamphetamine.  The indictment also alleges that on March 14-15, 2021, Jones possessed a stolen firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking activities, and he is a person prohibited from possessing a firearm because of a prior felony conviction.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Pennsylvania State Police and the Wilkes-Barre Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenny P. Roberts 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 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.

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 maximum penalty under federal law for this offense 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 April 28, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses