Death prompts guilty plea on drug charges for Pennsylvania man

A multiagency effort among state and federal authorities in Pennsylvania has resulted in the arrest of a 23-year-old man from Columbia County on drug charges. Last week, the man pleaded to charges of drug distribution resulting in death.

Few details are available about the alleged victim and the conditions under which he died. All that is known for certain is that he was a 20-year-old male who reportedly obtained the drugs in August 2017.

It is unknown whether scheduling of a sentence date has yet taken place. Federal Sentencing Guidelines require a judge to take needs for public protection, the offense’s nature and seriousness and other factors into consideration in order to issue a just penalty. The maximum penalty in a case like this includes a $1,000,000 fine and life in prison, according to federal statute.

In 2017, the Justice Department reinvigorated an initiative called Project Safe Neighborhoods, which works to develop locally based, effective crime reduction strategies by coordinating efforts of law enforcement at the local, state, tribal and federal levels. The arrest occurred in part due to the PSN program.

The charges related to both the possession and distribution of two controlled substances: fentanyl (Schedule II) and heroin (Schedule I). A United States Attorney claims that both the distribution and the possession with intent to distribute took place intentionally and with knowledge of the illegality of the alleged actions.

With the maximum penalties for possession and distribution of controlled substances being so severe, it may be helpful for those facing such charges to contact an attorney.