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Court briefs for Friday, Jan. 31


January 31. 2014 11:44PM

By - rdupuis@civitasmedia.com - (570) 991-6113




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SCRANTON — A 26-year-old New Jersey resident who formerly worked at a Luzerne County food store has been charged with conspiracy to distribute synthetic marijuana, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced Friday.


Manjinder Singh is accused of participating in a conspiracy to sell synthetic marijuana from a GM Foodmart store in Kingston between January and July of 2012.


Investigators allege that Singh obtained synthetic marijuana from out-of-state suppliers and sold synthetic marijuana to customers. It further alleges that Singh distributed synthetic marijuana to others on six occasions.


The charge against Singh resulted from an investigation by the IRS Criminal Investigative Division, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Pennsylvania State Police.


Mastan Mathan, the owner and operator of the store, recently pleaded guilty to a money laundering conspiracy involving proceeds from the sale of synthetic marijuana, federal officials said.


Singh faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. A plea agreement was also filed in the case, federal officials said, but did not elaborate.


SCRANTON — A Hazleton resident was indicted by a federal grand jury in Scranton on Tuesday for participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy that distributed heroin and cocaine from July through October of 2013, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced Friday.


U.S. Attorney Peter J. Smith said the grand jury alleges that Willy Perez, 36, conspired with others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine in the Hazleton and Scranton areas during a four-month time period.


An indictment alleges that Perez and his co-conspirators arranged to obtain heroin and cocaine in New York City and distributed the drugs in the Hazleton and Scranton areas. Perez is also charged with possessing heroin with the intent to distribute it on Oct. 24.


The charges stem from an investigation by special agents and task force officers of the FBI, Scranton police, and detectives from the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office.


Perez faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for each charge.




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