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SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on October 20, 2020, Emmanuel Roman-Figueroa, age 38, of Hazleton, David Jusino Ramirez, age, 64, a New Jersey resident, and Julio Romero-Mancebo, age 28, also a resident of New Jersey, were indicted on October 20, 2020, for drug trafficking.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment charges Roman-Figueroa, Jusino Ramirez, and Romero-Mancebo with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine and more than 400 grams of fentanyl, and possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine and more than 400 grams of fentanyl.

On October 8, 2020, law enforcement agents seized 130 kilograms of methamphetamine, and three kilograms of fentanyl, and $28,000 in cash ($371,000 in cash was seized on a previous occasion during the investigation) during a drug transaction involving the men in Luzerne County. The wholesale value of the drugs seized is approximately $2.5 million and the estimated street value is between $8 million to $10 million.

U.S. Attorney Freed lauded the work of DEA agents and their state and local partners in taking huge quantities of potentially deadly illegal drugs off the streets. “There can be no more clear evidence of the efforts of transnational drug trafficking organizations to establish a market for methamphetamine in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the United States than the seizure of this massive amount of drugs,” said U.S. Attorney Freed.  “Of course, the related seizure of a substantial amount of fentanyl is just as clear a reminder that we cannot let down our guard in the battle against opioids.  Time and time again, we have noted that the transportation networks that make the Keystone state a national leader in the logistics industry lend themselves also to the movement of massive amounts of contraband through our Commonwealth.  Thankfully our partners at the Pennsylvania State Police and the DEA clearly understand this dynamic and are on the job. It is impossible to calculate the number of lives saved by this outstanding investigation.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge Jonathan A. Wilson stated that the October 8th seizure of drugs is the largest methamphetamine seizure on record for the DEA’s Philadelphia Division.

“This seizure of 300 pounds of methamphetamine clearly shows the prevalence of this highly addictive and extremely dangerous drug in the region” said Jonathan A. Wilson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division. “This seizure and arrests are the result of DEA’s partnership with the Pennsylvania State Police and the Hazleton Police Department. The coordinated efforts of our law enforcement partners undoubtedly saved countless lives across our region.”

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Pennsylvania State Police, and Hazleton Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Camoni is prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

This case was also brought as part of a district wide initiative to combat the nationwide epidemic regarding the use and distribution of heroin.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Heroin Initiative targets heroin traffickers operating in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and is part of a coordinated effort among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit heroin related offenses.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Each charge also carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

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