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Press Release

York Man Sentenced To Over 21 Years’ Imprisonment On Drug Trafficking Charges

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 Raul Cotto-Rivera, age 41, of York, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on June 11, 2019, to 262 months’ imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release by U.S. District Court Judge Yvette Kane for drug trafficking offenses.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Cotto-Rivera was convicted in March 2018, after a three-day jury trial, of conspiracy to distribute 100 grams and more of heroin and 500 grams and more of cocaine hydrochloride, distribution of heroin (3 counts), possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine hydrochloride, distribution of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, cocaine hydrochloride and marijuana,

The charges stemmed from a number of controlled buys of heroin that were made by and through Cotto-Rivera in September and October of 2015.  In October 2015, law enforcement obtained and executed a search warrant and located approximately $20,000 in United States currency, a drug ledger, drug packaging material and distribution quantities of cocaine and heroin all in the defendant’s home.  While on release, Cotto-Rivera continued to sell drugs and was engaged in the distribution of marijuana from his store.  A second search warrant executed in February 2017, located distribution quantities of marijuana and cocaine, drug packaging materials and a loaded stolen firearm.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, the York County Drug Task Force, the Pennsylvania State Police, the York Area Regional Police Department, the West Manchester Township Police Department, the York County Sheriff’s Office, the Springettsbury Township Police Department, and the York County District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorneys Daryl F. Bloom and Carl Marchioli 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 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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Updated June 14, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods