Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Man Pleads Guilty to Heroin and Meth Trafficking Charges

A Cressona man pleaded gulity on Tuesday to heroin and meth trafficking.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Derek Mountz, age 33, Cressona, pleaded guilty today before Senior U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo, to participating in a conspiracy to distribute heroin and methamphetamine in Schuylkill and Berks Counties.

According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Mountz admitted to conspiring with others to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin (which is equivalent to more than 4,000 retail bags of heroin) and more than 50 grams of methamphetamine during April through October of 2016.

Mountz was indicted by a federal grand jury in January 2017, as a result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, and local police in Schuylkill County. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the case.

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.

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’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. There is also a mandatory minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment for the offense. 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.