Last updated: May 20. 2014 7:23AM - 5724 Views
By - elewis@timesleader.com

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WILKES-BARRE — A man from Hanover Township sentenced Monday in federal court sold heroin to feed a gambling addiction.

Derrick Almeen Wilson, 37, was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo to one year, plus one day for interstate travel in aid of racketeering. Wilson pleaded guilty to the charge in November.

Wilson was one of 23 people indicted by a federal grand jury in June for trafficking controlled substances to the area from New York and New Jersey.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William S. Houser said wiretaps used during the lengthy investigation found Wilson would occasionally meet with Anthony “Scoob” Wilson, 26, of Wilkes-Barre, and travel to New Jersey for a new shipment of heroin.

Anthony Wilson was recently sentenced to 18 months in prison for trafficking 80 to 100 grams of heroin. Derrick Wilson was sentenced for peddling at least 20 grams of heroin.

His lawyer, M. Jason Asbell, said Derrick Wilson was “loosely affiliated” with the heroin trafficking ring that was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, state police and police in Hanover Township and Wilkes-Barre.

When he learned of his arrest warrant, Asbell said Derrick Wilson surrendered “with his hands up in the air to the U.S. Marshal office.”

Asbell said Derrick Wilson engaged in limited heroin sales to feed his gambling problem. After his arrest, Derrick Wilson took steps to confront is gambling problem by submitting a Request for Exclusion from Gaming Activities that prohibits him from entering casinos in Pennsylvania and their affiliates in other states.

Derrick Wilson opted for a one-year self-imposed ban from entering a casino rather than a five-year or lifetime ban, according to the self-exclusion form he signed on Jan. 23.

“This was an action Mr. (Derrick) Wilson took on his own,” Asbell said, noting the self-exclusion ban was not court-ordered.

Houser said Derrick Wilson was charged when wiretaps recorded one or two phone calls to his cellphone instructing him to go to New Jersey to pick up heroin. Houser said Derrick Wilson was not a major player in the heroin trafficking ring and had one or two regular customers.

Caputo ordered Derrick Wilson to surrender to prison designated by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons on or before June 16.

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