U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania
(717) 221-4482
December 15, 2015

Bethlehem Man Indicted for Drug Trafficking and Firearms Offenses

SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a federal grand jury in Scranton has indicted a man from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for drug trafficking and firearm offenses.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the indictment charges Clyford Francois, age 36, with possession with intent to distribute cocaine in May 2015. The indictment also charges Francois, a convicted felon, with possessing two firearms in furtherance of his drug trafficking activities. Francois was initially taken into custody by Hanover Township Police on a traffic stop.

The investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Hanover Township Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Phillip J. Caraballo.

This case was brought as part of the Violent Crime Reduction Partnership (“VCRP”), a district wide initiative to combat the spread of violent crime in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the VCRP consists of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies whose mission is to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit violent crimes.

Indictments contain 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 is life in prison, 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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