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W-B man indicted on federal drug charges

September 12. 2013 11:21PM

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SCRANTON — A grand jury in Scranton on Tuesday indicted a Wilkes-Barre man on a federal drug charge, with authorities alleging he dealt drugs out of a Kingston hotel.

James King, 47, of South Street, was indicted on a charge of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced on Wednesday.

According to U.S. Attorney Peter J. Smith, King was arrested in April 2013 in connection with a drug sale in Kingston during an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Luzerne County Drug Task Force. The case is assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd K. Hinkley.

According to Times Leader archives based on separate criminal complaints filed in April, Kingston and Swoyersville police officers acting as members of the Luzerne County Drug Task Force met on March 30 with a confidential informant, who later that day made a controlled purchase of heroin from a man using the alias “Mel” and staying in a room at at the Budget Inn on Wyoming Avenue in Kingston.

Further investigation revealed King was the man who sold the drugs, police said. An undercover officer with the task force then arranged a drug buy from King on April 5 and bought five packets of heroin for $100, court records said.

In connection with the March 30 incident, King was charged with delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance. He was charged with identical counts in the April 5 incident as well as two counts of criminal conspiracy and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

King is currently awaiting trial in Luzerne County Court on those charges.

The federal charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a term of supervised release after imprisonment, and a fine.

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