Lackawanna County Man Charged With Drug Trafficking And Firearms Offenses

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A syringe with ampoules, white powder, a five-dollar bill with bullets and a gun lying on a black glass background. Dangerous bad habits, addiction to drugs and gambling. Crime because of drugs.

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on October 19, 2021, Douglas Richard Spencer, age 39, of Jefferson Township, Pennsylvania, was indicted by a federal grand jury for drug trafficking and firearm charges.

According to Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the indictment alleges that on June 9, 2021, in Lackawanna County, Spencer possessed with the intent to distribute over 50 grams of methamphetamine.  The indictment also alleges that Spencer, a felon not permitted to possess firearms, possessed several firearms in furtherance of his drug trafficking activities. 

The matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP).  Assistant United States Attorney Jeffery St John 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.

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.

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