Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Frackville Man Charged With Drug Trafficking And Firearm Offenses

On Wednesday, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Aaron Walter Gray, 36, of Frackville, was indicted on Tuesday by a federal grand jury for drug trafficking and firearms offenses.
According to Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the indictment charges Gray with possessing with the intent to distribute quantities of methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl, and possessing a pistol with an obliterated serial number in furtherance of trafficking heroin. The indictment further charges Gray with possessing two additional firearms and a quantity of ammunition while knowing that he had previously been convicted of a felony.

The matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the United States Marshals Service, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Schuylkill County District Attorney’s Office, the Snyder County District Attorney’s Office, the Schuylkill County Drug Task Force, and the Frackville Borough Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney James M. Buchanan 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 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 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 these offenses is life 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.