SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Manual Luna-Batista, 39, of Hazleton, Luzerne County was sentenced on Thursday, June 10, 2021 to 130 months’ imprisonment by U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani for conspiring to possess and distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine.
According to Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Luna-Batista previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess and distribute at least 400 grams of fentanyl and at least 50 grams actual methamphetamine throughout Luzerne County. Luna-Batista’s involvement in the charged conspiracy began in October of 2017 through February 2018.
Judge Mariani also ordered Luna-Batista to serve five years on supervised release following his prison sentence.
Luna-Batista was first indicted by a federal grand jury in March 2018, as a result of an investigation jointly conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Pennsylvania State Police. Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski prosecuted 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 and fentanyl. 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.
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