A 35-year-old illegal alien is facing serious federal charges after an arrest for suspected drug activities. The man was previously deported from the country, but is believed to have been residing in Hazelton, Pennsylvania prior to the recent arrest. He is charged with drug trafficking and illegal reentry, and faces up to 60 years in prison if he is convicted on both of those charges.
Authorities assert that the man was in possession of over 100 grams of heroin. Furthermore, he is accused of the intent to distribute that drug. His arrest is part of a joint investigation by the Hazleton Police Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.
Should the man be convicted on these charges, he faces serious punitive repercussions. In addition to the maximum sentence of 60 years in federal prison, he could also be fined as much as $5.25 million. If he is able to avoid conviction, he could still face deportation measures and could be returned to his country of origin. The fact that he was previously deported will have an impact on the case as it moves forward.
When a Pennsylvania resident is found guilty of federal drug trafficking charges and other offenses, the sentencing process is not as clear cut as many believe. Federal judges must take a number of things into consideration when structuring a sentence, including the degree of seriousness of the offense, the history of the individual and the need to protect the public from future criminal acts. In this way, sentencing is variable and can be influenced by a number of factors.
Source: westmorelandtimes.com, "Illegal alien charged with heroin trafficking and illegal reentry into U.S.", Aug. 20, 2015