For Immediate Release
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
, United States Attorney
David J. Freed
Contact: Dawn Mayko
WILLIAMSPORT MAN INDICTED ON DRUG TRAFFICKING AND FIREARMS CHARGES
Philadelphia Field Division
WILLIAMSPORT- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Kenneth Sharif Johnson, age 27, of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, was indicted on March 22, 2018, by a federal grand jury on drug trafficking and firearms charges.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment alleges that Johnson, a convicted felon, illegally possessed three stolen handguns on June 18, 2016 and that from January 2015 through June 2016, Johnson possessed with the intent to distribute over 28 grams of crack cocaine and a detectable amount of heroin.
The three-count indictment charges Johnson with one count each of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and receiving stolen firearms and a separate count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and heroin.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the South Williamsport Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney George J. Rocktashel is prosecuting the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.
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 40 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.
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