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Man sentenced for leading Pennsylvania drug ring

A 25-year-old Harrisburg man has been sentenced to 12 years and three months in prison for being the leader of a drug ring, according to an announcement by the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Pennsylvania. He was accused of transporting heroin and cocaine from Harrisburg to State College for distribution in area hotel and motel rooms by his drug trafficking group.

In February 2012, the man was pulled over by Fairview Township Police while driving a rental car. He was taken into custody after officers found $10,000 in cash, two stolen firearms and heroin packaged for sale in the trunk of the car.

The man and a male co-defendant went on trial before a federal jury in Harrisburg in May 2014. Following four days of testimony, both defendants were convicted on 10 counts of conspiracy, drug trafficking and firearms crimes. The co-defendant has not yet been sentenced. In separate trials, three other men affiliated with the narcotics ring were also found guilty of drug crimes in May 2014. They received sentences ranging from 22 months to 151 months in prison. The investigation was a joint effort conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Pennsylvania State Police.

Individuals accused of federal drug trafficking or drug conspiracy charges could face severe penalties if they are convicted, including heavy fines and lengthy incarceration. A criminal defense attorney could help someone accused of drug crimes fight the allegations in court by scrutinizing the prosecution's evidence for weaknesses or inconsistencies. It may be possible that the evidence gathered is largely circumstantial or was obtained in violation of a defendant's Fourth Amendment rights, which protects U.S. citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures. In such cases, the charges may be reduced or dismissed.

Source: Westmoreland Times , "Man sentenced to 12 years in prison for leading drug traffickers who sold cocaine and heroin in State College area ", December 30, 2014

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