WILLIAMSPORT – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on April 30, 2021, Raymond Howard, age 46, of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, was sentenced sentenced to 300 months’ imprisonment followed by a four-year term of supervised release by U.S. District Court Judge Matthew W. Brann for drug trafficking.
According to Acting U.S. Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Howard was found guilty after a five-day jury trial in October 2020 to conspiring to distribute heroin and a mixture of heroin and carfentanil. During a three-day period in June 2017, there was a rash of drug overdoses in Williamsport. At the time, UPMC Susquehanna in Williamsport and Wellsboro rpoerted treating 51 such cases within a 48-hour period.
Howard was determined to be the source of the carfentanil-laced heroin that led to the overdoses. In total, three co-conspirators identified on the indictment, Wayne Davidson, Nathan Crowder, and Markeese Askew, were charged with delivering the mixture of heroin and carfentanil that resulted in serious bodily injury to eight individuals. The three co-conspirators were previously sentenced after pleading guilty in October 2020. Davidson and Crowder were sentenced to 210 months’ imprisonment in March 2021 and Askew was sentenced to 192 months’ imprisonment in April 2021.
“The 25 year sentence imposed on Howard, and the substantial sentences imposed on his coconspirators, not only reflects the seriousness of these offenses but also the commitment of our office to aggressively prosecute all opioid related offenses,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Brandler. “When these overdoses occurred in 2017, we decided to take whatever steps were necessary to make sure the responsible individuals were brought to justice. I want to thank all the law enforcement agents and prosecutors who tirelessly worked to accomplish that goal.”
The case was investigated by the Lycoming County District Attorney’s Office Narcotics Enforcement Unit, Montoursville Police Department, Old Lycoming Township Police Department, South Williamsport Police Department, Williamsport Bureau of Police, Pennsylvania State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Alisan V. Martin and Geoffrey W. MacArthur prosecuted the case.
This case is 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. This case was brought as part of a district wide initiative to combat the nationwide epidemic regarding the use and distribution of heroin.
This case was also 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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