Thursday, November 3, 2022

Schuylkill County Man Sentenced by Federal Judge for Drug Trafficking and Firearm Offenses

A Schuylkill County man was sentenced for federal charges for Drug Trafficking and Firearm Offenses.

On Thursday, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Aaron Walter Gray, 37, of Ashland, was on Wednesday to 93 months’ imprisonment by United States Chief District Court Judge Matthew W. Brann for drug trafficking and firearm offenses.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Gray previously pleaded guilty to one count of possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. In June of 2020, Gray failed to appear in Schuylkill County Court for previous drug and firearm charges and an arrest warrant was issued.

In April of 2021, members of the Pennsylvania State Police Fugitive Task Force and United States Marshals executed an arrest warrant for Gray at an Airbnb rental property in Snyder County, Pennsylvania. Gray was found in possession of fentanyl, drug paraphernalia, a Glock 21 .45 caliber pistol, various pistol magazines and pistol ammunition, small quantities of other controlled substances, and over $7,000 in cash.

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 prosecuted the case.

This case is 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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

This case was also brought as part of a district wide initiative to combat the nationwide epidemic regarding the use and distribution of opioids. 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.