York Man Sentenced To 15 Years’ Imprisonment For Cocaine Trafficking

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HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that William Barton, age 40, of York County, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on October 26, 2021, to 180 months’ imprisonment by United States District Court Judge Christopher C. Conner after Barton entered a guilty plea to conspiring to distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine.

According to Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, following a roughly year-long investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives which focused on drug activity at a bar in York City, it was determined that Barton was part of a drug trafficking organization. Using an undercover federal agent, federal law enforcement purchased more than 500 grams of crack cocaine from Barton and his co-conspirators in 2019.

The following coconspirators pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing: Anthony Rankins, 40, Michael Adams, 44, Denzel Swan, 38, Dorral Basknight, 42, and Furman Dennis, 40, all of York County, Pennsylvania.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the York City Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the York County Drug Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Johnny Baer prosecuted 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.


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 several 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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