Pocono man faces 20 years for fentanyl administration resulting in death

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A Monroe County man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for distributing fentanyl that led to the death of a New Jersey man.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced Tuesday that Matthew Luce, aka “Luck,” 36, has been sentenced to 240 months in prison by United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion for distributing fentanyl resulting in death.

Luce was also sentenced to 188 months in prison in a separate drug trafficking conspiracy case, with concurrent sentences.

According to United States District Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Luce knowingly dispensed an unspecified amount of fentanyl to a 36-year-old man from Clinton, New Jersey in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, resulting in his death on February 6, 2021. .

Related:Pocono’s husband pleads guilty to administering fentanyl resulting in the death of a New Jersey resident

Recent case:Monroe County man and NJ co-conspirator convicted of drug delivery death

Luce was also charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and 100 grams of heroin with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and 100 grams of heroin. Luce had previously pleaded guilty to both charges.

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The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office, the Clinton Police Department, the Stroud Area Regional Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney James M. Buchanan continued the case

According to the DOJ, the case was brought forward as part of a district-wide initiative to combat the nationwide epidemic of heroin and fentanyl distribution and use. Led by the U.S. District Attorney’s Office, the Heroin Initiative targets heroin traffickers operating in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, using federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to locate, apprehend those who commit heroin-related crimes and to prosecute.

The case was also part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence.

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Statistics from the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania show that Monroe County peaked in drug delivery in 2020, resulting in death in 2020 with 31 violations filed that year. Between 2017 and 2021, Monroe County saw 82 such charges, surpassed only by Lancaster and York counties, which saw 132 and 117 charges, respectively, within the same time frame.

Fentanyl quickly replaces heroin in PA

In a report released in May 2022 by former Attorney General-turned-Governor Josh Shapiro, fentanyl has become an even bigger problem than heroin in Keystone State, with the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation counting more than having taken double the amount of fentanyl. than heroin in 2021. In the first quarter of 2022, GNI seized about 40 times as much fentanyl as heroin — even more than in all of the previous year.

According to the report, overdose deaths rose 16.4% in 2020 and continued to rise to 5,438 reported overdose deaths in 2021 – a 6% increase from the previous year.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, increasingly found in counterfeit pills, were “some of the leading causes of the increase in overdose deaths in recent years.”

The DEA notes that as little as two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal, while analysis of counterfeit pills found a range of 0.02 to 5.1 milligrams of the synthetic opioid in the pills.

“Fentanyl has quickly replaced heroin as the dominant opioid in Pennsylvania. Last year, our Bureau of Narcotics Investigation seized more fentanyl than in the past four years combined. The rise in fentanyl has also contributed to an increase in overdose deaths. Last year we lost 15 Pennsylvanians every day to a drug overdose. Both law enforcement and policymakers must continue to do more to combat this crisis and dedicate additional resources to stopping fentanyl at the southern border,” Shapiro said.

This article originally appeared on Pocono Record: Pocono man waits 20 years for fentanyl administration resulting in death

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