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Press Release

Wilkes-Barre Man Indicted for Heroin Trafficking and Firearm Offense

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 today that a Wilkes-Barre man was indicted on November 10, 2015 by a federal grand jury in Scranton on heroin trafficking and firearm offenses.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the indictment charges Louis Angel Soto, age 26, with distributing and possessing with intent to distribute heroin in Wilkes-Barre on four occasions between August and November of 2015.  The indictment also charges Soto with   possessing a firearm in furtherance of his heroin trafficking activities. 

The charges stem from an investigation in which the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) allegedly made purchases of heroin from Soto on three occasions between August and October of 2015.  The DEA then obtained a search warrant for a residence located on Sambourne Street in Wilkes-Barre, where Soto was residing. From the residence, the DEA and the Wilkes-Barre Police Department seized 180 bags of heroin and a .40 caliber Smith and Wesson semi-automatic pistol.

The investigation of these cases was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, working in conjunction with the Wilkes-Barre Police Department. Prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Evan Gotlob.

Soto faces a minimum of 5 years and up to a lifetime term of incarceration as well as fines totaling $4,250,000.

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.

Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is 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 November 12, 2015