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Justice News

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

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Wilkes-Barre Man Sentenced To Over Two Years’ Imprisonment For Possessing A Firearm In Connection With Drug Trafficking

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Shakim Varick, age 37, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on May 14, 2019, by U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani, to 30 months’ imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release for unlawfully possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Varick previously admitted to possessing a firearm along with heroin and crack cocaine that he intended to distribute in the city of Wilkes-Barre in March 2015.

The matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Wilkes-Barre Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa prosecuted 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 was also 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.


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Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated May 16, 2019