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SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Saul Carrasco, age 36, of Simi Valley, California, was sentenced to 102 months’ imprisonment on December 15, 2020, by U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion, for conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Carrasco previously pleaded guilty to participating in the conspiracy during July through November 2018. Carrasco admitted that he agreed with others to transport the heroin from California to Carbon County, Pennsylvania. Law enforcement officers seized two kilograms of heroin, which is approximately equivalent to 80,000 individual retail bags of heroin, from a vehicle Carrasco was traveling in.  

The leader of the California based drug trafficking operation, Crispin Fernandez, another California resident, was previously sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment. Judge Mannion also ordered Carrasco to serve five years on supervised release following his prison sentence.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Illinois State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa prosecuted 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.     

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