Following a federal investigation into some members of a gang suspected of heroin trafficking and prostitution, a Pennsylvania man recently pleaded guilty in a U.S. District Court. He was one of seven individuals that were indicted by a federal grand jury in September. The man admitted to charges of participating in conspiring to traffic heroin and also participating in a conspiracy regarding sex trafficking.
FBI agents claim to have uncovered a drug trafficking ring that stretches over multiple states, and also a prostitution ring in northeastern Pennsylvania. It is alleged that young women were persuaded to engage in prostitution in that area. Furthermore, it is alleged in the indictment that the accused man participated in obtaining heroin in a neighboring state and then distributed it via couriers to users in other states.
At the plea hearing, the 33-year-old Pocono Summit man entered guilty pleas for distributing more than 1 kilogram of heroin, and using coercion or force in conspiring to commit sex trafficking from 2012 through 2014. Although every accused individual remains innocent until federal prosecutors have proved guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, this man will likely not be able to ignore the consequences a conviction may bring. The mandatory sentences for drug and sex trafficking are 10 and 15 years respectively, and maximum sentences may mean life in prison.
This Pennsylvania man has likely executed his right to legal counsel, which is the appropriate first step to take when criminal charges are faced. The details of the plea agreement are unknown, but an experienced criminal defense attorney can now focus on mitigating circumstances that may affect the severity of the sentence. A lawyer can provide effective advocacy and protect the rights of a client throughout all the legal proceedings.
Source: pocononews.net, "Guilty plea in heroin trafficking case", Nov. 27, 2015