U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania
(717) 221-4482
March 19, 2015

Luzerne County Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking and Illegal Gun Possession

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a 32-year-old Kingston man pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion in Scranton, to distributing Oxycontin (oxycodone) and unlawfully possessing a firearm as an illegal drug user.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the defendant, Shawn Jenks, age 32, admitted to unlawfully possessing the firearm during September through November 2014, while he was also using heroin, and illegally distributing Oxycontin pills on November 22, 2014, in Luzerne County.

Jenks was charged in a criminal Information filed by the United States Attorney on March 17, 2015. The charges stem from an investigation by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Kingston Police.

Judge Mannion ordered a pre-sentence investigation by the U.S. Probation office. Sentencing will be scheduled after the completion of that investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the case.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

In this case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is 20 years’ imprisonment and a $1 million fine for the drug charge, and 10 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for the gun charge. 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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