SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on November 17, 2020, Robert Jackson, age 42, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, was indicted by a federal grand jury for drug distribution resulting in death.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment alleges that Jackson knowingly and intentionally distributed a controlled substance, fentanyl, within the Middle District of Pennsylvania, resulting in the death of a person.
The charges stem from a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Scranton, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, and the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department. United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski is prosecuting 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 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.
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.
In this case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute for drug distribution resulting in death is life imprisonment. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature 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.