DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Bruce D. Brandler
, United States Attorney

Wilkes-Barre Man Indicted on Drug Trafficking and Firearms Charges

SCRANTON -The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on July 27, 2021, Modest Moreno, age 31, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was indicted by a federal grand jury on drug trafficking and firearms charges.

According to Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the indictment alleges that Moreno distributed and possessed with the intent to distribute cocaine, heroin and fentanyl between June 2021 and July 13, 2021, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The indictment also alleges that Modesto, a person prohibited from possessing a firearm, possessed a Ruger handgun.

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

This case is being prosecuted as 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 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 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 30 years of 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.

Philadelphia Field Division