Shenandoah Men Plead Guilty To Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that two Shenandoah residents connected to a large-scale heroin trafficking ring that operated in Schuylkill County during 2012 through September 2015, pleaded guilty today before Senior U.S. District Court Judge James M. Munley in Scranton.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Rhashean Strange, age 30, who used the street name “Chicago,” pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin. Strange admitted to being a leader and manager of the drug conspiracy, and to possessing a firearm in connection with the conspiracy.

In a separate proceeding, Carlos Correa, age 27, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin. Correa also admitted to possessing a firearm in connection with the drug conspiracy.

Strange and Correa were indicted by a federal grand jury in Scranton in September 2015, as a result of an investigation by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, investigators from the Pennsylvania State Police, and local police in Schuylkill County.

Judge Munley in each case ordered a presentence investigation to be completed, and scheduled sentencing for Strange on April 15, 2016, and for Correa on April 14, 2016. Strange faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a potential maximum sentence of life in prison. Correa faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a potential maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the cases.

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.

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.

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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