Luzerne County Man Charged With Drug Trafficking

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SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on November 9, 2021, James Artis-Bryan, age 41, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was indicted by a federal grand jury on two separate drug trafficking charges.

According to Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, one indictment alleges that in early 2020, Artis-Bryan conspired with other individuals to distribute and possess with intent to distribute over 500 grams of methamphetamine.  A second indictment alleges that on August 9, 2021, Artis-Bryan possessed with the intent to distribute fentanyl and possessed a firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking activities.        

The cases were investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenny P. Roberts is prosecuting the case.

This prosecution is part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  OCDETF is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

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 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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