Luzerne County Man Charged With Maintaining Drug-Involved Premises
SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania has announced that Brandon Vitack, age 26, of Monroe Township, Pennsylvania, was charged in a criminal information on November 21, 2018, with maintaining a drug-involved premises.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Vitack is charged in a criminal information with knowingly and intentionally opening and maintaining his residence from approximately October 1, 2017 to December 13, 2017, for the purpose of manufacturing, packaging, distributing, and using controlled substances, specifically, fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance.
The charges stem from a joint investigation involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Scranton, and the Kingston Police Department. United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski 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. Attorney General Jeff Sessions 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 also was 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.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The maximum penalty under the federal statute for maintaining drug-involved premises is 20 years’ imprisonment and a $500,000 fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature 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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