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3 indicted on federal charges involving drugs

Three men were indicted in federal court in a one-year-long conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and tramadol, a pain-killing narcotic, in Lycoming County.

Jordan Watkins, Basil Arties and Damion Bethea were involved in a conspiracy to distribute the drugs from August 2019 to just last week, according to U.S. Attorney David Freed and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alisan V. Martin.

Watkins charge includes unlawful possession of firearms. The .38 caliber revolver and a 9 mm long gun had obliterated serial numbers, and more than $3,800 was seized Aug. 14 from Watkins in Harrisburg, court records said.

Watkins, 26, and Bethea, 24, were arraigned Monday in U.S. Middle District Court before Magistrate Judge William I. Arbuckle III.

Martin opposed bail for Bethea.

The indictment included nine counts against Watkins who was among the individuals in a round up of 30 people arrested last week.

Watkins was detained and Bethea was given electronic monitoring and home confinement.

Arties remains in custody.

Drug possession and conspiracy charges can each result in a 20-year maximum prison sentence.

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