Dealer sentenced to 100 months in federal prison while mother watches

A Williamsport heroin dealer Thursday received a federal prison sentence of 100 months in the presence of his mother in U.S. Middle District Court.

Corey Lamar Hughes, 27, wept and in broken speech remorsefully told the court with his mother Pamela Hughes, his fiance and other family and friends present in the courtroom of Judge Matthew W. Brann he apologized for his actions and would serve his sentence and become a productive member of society afterward.

Brann sentenced Hughes following his guilty plea in Aug. 12 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 700 to 1,000 grams of heroin.

Hughes and 18 others were members of a large-scale drug trafficking network operating in Williamsport who provided drugs to customers along the Interstate 80 corridor between Bloomsburg and Williamsport. They obtained their supplies from Philadelphia and southern New Jersey.

A federal grand jury in Williamsport returned a 13-count indictment against the people who are accused of selling the drugs between Aug. 14, 2014 and Feb. 11, transporting drugs from Philadelphia to the Bloomsburg and Williamsport areas. They used rental vehicles and stayed in motel rooms to distribute the drugs and with buying and exchanging firearms to buy heroin and other drugs.

The indictment identified a residence in the 800 block of Rhodes Alley in the city where cash, firearms and property was seized and subject to forfeiture.

Through their investigation, agents learned that members of the network shared several work phones to accept and fill orders from their customer base for heroin and other illegal drugs.

The hallmark of their organization was to quickly dispense heroin using these phones and send out text messages when new supplies were available.

However, the drug-related conversations on several of these phones were intercepted. State and federal agents conducted surveillance of the dealers as they conducted their trafficking business in the Williamsport area from August 2014 through February.

Hughes admitted that on Aug. 3, 2015, he participated in the delivery of about 60 bags of heroin to a drug customer near the Pennsdale exit off Interstate 180 for $500.

Hughes further acknowledged that he participated in the delivery of 20 bags of heroin at a convenience store on West Fourth Street in the city.

Additionally, Hughes discussed trading firearms for drugs.

On Dec. 8, 2015, Hughes was seen by local and state police operating a specific vehicle recently used to make suspected deliveries of heroin to customers in Montoursville and near the Lycoming Mall.

On Dec. 11, 2015, Hughes was a passenger in a rented car that was involved in a high-speed chase. After the driver crashed the vehicle and was arrested, officers recovered a quantity of heroin, oxycodone pills and a small amount of currency from the car.

Hughes had a juvenile record and as a young adult at age 19 he was convicted in Blair County of a drug-trafficking offense. During the next several years Hughes pleaded guilty to five additional drug paraphernalia-related offenses in Lycoming County.

Brann said it was unusual for those sentenced to see so many supportive family and friends, an indicator that he has reason to seek educational opportunities while in prison to give him a better chance at finding gainful employment when he is out of prison. Brann’s sentence include four years of mandatory supervisory release under watch by the U.S. probation office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney George J. Rocktashel said the 100-month sentence was satisfactory.