DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
David J. Freed
, United States Attorney
Contact: Dawn Mayko

Luzerne County Woman Sentenced to 28 Months in Prison for Participating in Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Brandy Carey Malinosky, age 42, of Pittston Township, was sentenced on June 12, 2018, to 28 months’ imprisonment and to serve four years on supervised release by Senior U.S. District Court Judge James M. Munley, for her role in a heroin trafficking conspiracy that operated in Luzerne County during February through November 2014.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Malinosky previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin. Malinosky admitted to distributing heroin on a daily basis for Desmond Mercer, the leader of the drug conspiracy. Malinosky distributed between 100 and 400 grams of heroin for Mercer, which is approximately equivalent to between 4,000 and 16,000 retail bags of heroin.

Mercer previously pleaded guilty to heading-up the drug conspiracy and was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment.

Shaliek Stroman and Shaquan Murphy, two key associates of Mercer, were each sentenced to more than 12 years’ imprisonment for their roles in the conspiracy. Another member of the drug ring, Antuan Jamison, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.

Malinosky was indicted by a federal grand jury in February 2016, as a result of an investigation by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, and Kingston 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. 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.

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Philadelphia Field Division