SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that United States District Judge Robert D. Mariani sentenced Kearon Brinson, age 42, formerly of West Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, to 41 months of imprisonment, and Lamont Hubbard, age 51, formerly of Plymouth, Pennsylvania, to a time served sentence of approximately 26 months of imprisonment. Both men were incarcerated on the offenses while pending their sentencings.
According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, Brinson and Hubbard previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to traffic between 40 grams and 160 grams of fentanyl between January 2019 and February 2020. That quantity of fentanyl is the equivalent of approximately 20,000 to 80,000 potentially lethal individual doses of fentanyl. The defendants also forfeited assorted ammunition and over $3,500 seized by law enforcement during the investigation.
In addition to Brinson and Hubbard, five other Luzerne County men have been charged and convicted in the broader investigation, for various fentanyl, cocaine, and tramadol trafficking offenses, including fentanyl trafficking that resulted in death:
- James Tindol, Jr., age 38, of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 120 months of imprisonment after pleading guilty to distributing fentanyl that resulted in death;
- James Garris, Jr., age 52, formerly of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 168 months of imprisonment after pleading guilty to distributing fentanyl that resulted in death;
- Emilio Tejeda, age 33, formerly of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 57 months of imprisonment after pleading guilty to conspiring to distribute between 400 grams and 1.2 kilograms of fentanyl;
- Edwin Tejeda, age 31, formerly of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and the Dominican Republic, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute cocaine and fentanyl, which resulted in death, and awaits sentencing; and
- Jose Raymer Tejeda, age 37, formerly of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute cocaine and fentanyl, which resulted in death, and awaits sentencing.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Luzerne Country Drug Task Force, and the Kingston Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip J. Caraballo is prosecuting the case.
This case was also 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.
This case also was brought as part of a district wide initiative to combat the nationwide epidemic regarding the use and distribution of heroin. 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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