SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that James Hughes, age 38, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was indicted on July 13, 2021, by a federal grand jury on drug trafficking and firearms charges.
According to Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the indictment alleges that Hughes possessed with the intent to distribute over 50 grams of methamphetamine on May 12, 2021, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The indictment also alleges that Hughes possessed a .40 caliber Smith and Wesson handgun in furtherance of his drug trafficking activities and he is prohibited from possessing a firearm.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Pennsylvania State Police and the Wilkes-Barre City Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenny P. Roberts is prosecuting the case.
This case is also part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement 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 enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce crime.
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 this offense 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.
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