Thursday, June 11, 2020

Shenandoah Man Sentenced for Operating Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy

A Shenandoah man was sentence on Tuesday for his role in a drug trafficking conspiracy involving heroin.

On Thursday, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Rhashean Strange, age 35, of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on June 10, 2020 by U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani, to 14 years’ imprisonment for his role in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Strange previously pleaded guilty to participating in the conspiracy during 2014 and 2015. Strange admitted that he and others in the conspiracy distributed between one and three kilograms of heroin, which is approximately equivalent to between 40,000 and 120,000 retail bags of heroin. The heroin was obtained from suppliers in Paterson, New Jersey, and Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

Strange, who used the street name “Chicago,” was the leader of the drug conspiracy and possessed firearms in connection with the criminal activity.

Judge Mariani also ordered Strange to serve five years on supervised release following his prison sentence, and to forfeit firearms and his share of cash seized during the investigation.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Shenandoah Police. Assistant United States Attorney Francis P. Sempa prosecuted the case.

This case was 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. The Department of Justice 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.