For Immediate Release
Friday, June 8, 2018
, United States Attorney
David J. Freed
Contact: Dawn Mayko
Harrisburg Man Charged with Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking
Philadelphia Field Division
HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Demarius Hawkins, age 27, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was indicted on June 6, 2018, by a federal grand jury on firearms and drug trafficking charges.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment alleges that between April 13, 2017 and January 23, 2018, Hawkins distributed cocaine base and heroin in Dauphin County. It is further alleged that on November 21, 2017, Hawkins unlawfully possessed a Jimenez Arms, 9-MM handgun in furtherance of drug trafficking.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, and the Harrisburg Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chelsea Schinnour 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 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.
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 federal law for this offense is life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. 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.