First Posted: 10/21/2013
SCRANTON — A New York City man switched his plea from not guilty to guilty as part of an ongoing federal investigation into an alleged drug ring in the Pittston area.
George Abreu, 36, was first cited in a sealed complaint filed May 23, 2012, in the U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania. That complaint also cited Ramon Hernandez. Abreu was indicted March 12 of this year on charges he “did knowingly and intentionally combine, conspire confederate and agree with other persons” to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine in Luzerne County beginning in 2008 and continuing to May 24, 2012.
Abreu entered a not guilty plea at the time and pretrial scheduling began, but on Oct. 17, a plea agreement was filed in federal court.
According to the agreement, Abreu pleads guilty to the single count in the indictment. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine and probation for life upon release, but as part of the plea prosecutors agree to recommend six years and six months imprisonment, three years probation and “no fine, based upon the defendant’s inability to pay.” Abreu appeared in court Monday to enter his plea.
The agreement is subject to approval by U.S. District Judge Edwin Kosik, who is not bound to accept the deal.
A press release from the office of U.S. Attorney Peter Smith notes “the charge and plea are part of a continuing investigation into a Pittston area drug ring by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.”