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December 2013 Archives

Pennsylvania man to be sentenced in $1.3 million fraud case

Pennsylvania readers may recall hearing media reports in recent years regarding a fraud case involving a generator-selling scam. Most recently, reports have indicated that the case against the Pennsylvania man accused of fraudulent sales transactions with consumers has entered the sentencing phase. Cases such as this one may reinforce what readers already know -- that in our state, criminal charges of fraud can carry strict consequences.

Pennsylvania residents indicted on federal drug charges

Federal drug crimes often have more serious implications than drug offences that go through the state legal system. Anyone convicted on federal drug charges has the potential to serve lengthy prison sentences and pay a large amount in fines. A drug bust by federal and state authorities resulted in federal charges against several Pennsylvania residents who are accused of dealing bath salts.

Ex-minister to face child pornography charges in county court

If convicted, people who have been accused of possessing, receiving or distributing child pornography could face a minimum of 5 years in prison. Under Pennsylvania's Megan's Law, a person facing state charges related to child pornography could also be required to register as a sex offender.

Reduced sentence for Peters man accused of drug, weapons crimes

Extensive case preparation is often the key to a favorable outcome for a defendant facing federal drug charges. The objective of a strong criminal defense is to uncover any mistakes investigators or prosecutors may have made. It may be possible that revealing such mistakes will result in a reduction or dismissal of charges. If the evidence presented by federal prosecutors is likely to result in a conviction, however, then negotiating for a reduced sentence should become the defense's top priority.

Grand jury indicts Luzerne County man on drug, weapons charges

When prosecutors are able to link the possession of a firearm to federal drug trafficking charges, the possible penalties are severe. The mandatory sentencing guidelines are even harsher if a convicted felon is found to be in possession of a firearm while engaging in drug trafficking.

Federal court: Police must have warrant to track suspects with GPS

The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is based in Philadelphia and has jurisdiction over courts in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. Recently, with regard to an alleged string of pharmacy burglaries, the federal appeals court ruled that investigators violated a man's Fourth Amendment rights by placing a GPS tracking device on his van without a warrant.

Federal heroin charge leads to 10-year sentence for PA man

We've written before about federal sentencing guidelines and how they are advisory and not mandatory. Still, federal judges tend to treat the guidelines as if they are mandatory, and defendants end up facing long prison sentences as a result. However, it is possible in some cases to negotiate for a variance from the guidelines.

Prosecution drops fraud charges against video poker gamblers

Federal prosecutors recently dropped charges against a man who was accused of defrauding a Pennsylvania casino. He and a codefendant had figured out that pressing a particular sequence of buttons on a video poker machine allowed for the player to use a prior winning hand and receive extra winnings. Essentially, the men utilized a software bug in the machines, and casinos in Pennsylvania and Las Vegas called foul.

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