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

New Jersey Resident Charged with Mailing Drugs to Inmate

The United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a criminal charge of attempted distribution of controlled substances has been filed against Maria Tavarez of Newark, New Jersey.

According to United States Attorney, Peter J. Smith, Tavarez, age 48, is charged in a one-count felony information with attempting to distribute narcotics to an inmate at United States Penitentiary Lewisburg by mailing envelopes to the inmate with drugs contained therein.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons Special Investigative Service. Assistant United States Attorney Wayne P. Samuelson is assigned to prosecute 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 statues and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

In this case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is ten years’ imprisonment, and a fine of $500,000. 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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