Feds to get tougher on heroin dealers

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Federal prosecutors say they’re going to bring more severe charges and ask for tougher sentences against people who sell heroin in central Pennsylvania.

The new policy was announced Friday by U.S. Attorney Peter Smith of the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Smith said the new policy is intended to emphasize the point that those who sell heroin are “knowingly dealing in possible death or serious harm to users and should pay heavily for their greed and callous indifference.”

The policy asks prosecutors in the Harrisburg, Scranton and Williamsport offices to consider all available charges and seek tougher penalties when dealers are repeat offenders, use weapons and violence, endanger human life while manufacturing drugs, sell to people under age 21, sell or manufacture near schools, or use minors in their drug operations.

Plea agreements will only be approved when there’s full cooperation, and even then defendants shouldn’t expect to see their sentence reduced by more than half, Smith said.

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