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Press Release

York Man Charged With Drug Trafficking And Firearms Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Shanquay Ritter, age 23, of York, Pennsylvania, was indicted on January 8, 2020, by a federal grand jury on drug trafficking and firearms charges.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment charges Ritter with possession with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl, for possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.  Ritter is also charged with threatening a federal official with the intent to intimidate that official while he was engaged in his official duties.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian T. Haugsby is prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement 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 enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce 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.

Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged by indictment 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 possession with the intent to distribute heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl is 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine.  The maximum penalty under federal law for possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking is life imprisonment and a fine.  Conviction for that offense also subjects a defendant to a mandatory minimum consecutive sentence of five years’ imprisonment.  Possession of a firearm by a prohibited person under federal law carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.  Threatening a federal official is punishable by up to 6 years’ imprisonment.  A sentence for each of these offenses also includes a period of supervised release following imprisonment.  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 January 16, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods