DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, January 26, 2022
John C. Gurganus
, United States Attorney

Luzerne County Man Indicted on Drug Trafficking and Firearms Charges

SCRANTON- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on January 25, 2022, James Rodriguez, Jr. a/k/a “Mack Mulla,” age 29, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was indicted by a federal grand jury on drug trafficking and firearms charges.

According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, the indictment alleges that between January 2021 and January 2022, Rodriguez Jr. conspired with other individuals to distribute and possess with intent to distribute over 400 grams of fentanyl. It is alleged that on October 27, 2021, Rodriguez, Jr aided in the distribution of fentanyl which resulted in the death of an individual. The indictment further alleges that on January 20, 2022, Rodriguez was in possession of over 40 grams of fentanyl and additional quantities of marijuana which he intended to distribute, all while in possession of multiple handguns and a shot gun in furtherance of these drug trafficking activities. Finally, the indictment seeks forfeiture of the firearms and Rodriguez’s Porsche automobile.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Kingston Police Department and the Luzerne County Drug Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenny P. Roberts is prosecuting the case.

This case was part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in 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.

If convicted, Rodriguez faces a maximum penalty under federal law for this offense of life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. 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.

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

Philadelphia Field Division