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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 20, 2016

Williamsport Man Charged With Drug Trafficking

SCRANTON- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a grand jury in Scranton returned an Indictment on October 18, 2016, charging Morris Smith, age 33, a resident of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with possession with intent to distribute cocaine. 

According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the Indictment charges Smith with possessing cocaine in March 2016, with the intent to distribute it in the Williamsport area.  Smith was also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of his drug activities, and a separate felony charge for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Williamsport Bureau of Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sean A. Camoni.

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.

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 penalties under federal law include 20 years of imprisonment for possessing with intent to distribute cocaine, 10 years’ imprisonment for felon in possession of a firearm, a five year mandatory term of imprisonment for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime, 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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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated October 20, 2016