September 13, 2018

Sentence upheld in drug trafficking case

SCRANTON—The Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the 70-month prison sentence of Sean Griffin, 24, that was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Malachy Mannion on May 2, 2017.    

The Court ruled that Griffin, who used the street name of “Kritical” and who pleaded guilty in November 2016 to conspiracy to distribute heroin, was not entitled to a reduction in his sentence for being a minor participant in the drug conspiracy.

Griffin argued on appeal that he was less culpable than other members of the conspiracy and therefore was entitled to a “minor role” adjustment in his prison sentence. The Court disagreed, reasoning that “multiple witnesses identified Griffin as a key distributor of heroin for the [Black P-Stone’s] local squads—a ‘four-star general’ in the parlance of the conspiracy.” Griffin, the Court noted, “distributed large quantities of drugs throughout Maine and Pennsylvania, and his efforts were a vital part of the conspiracy’s success.”

Griffin was indicted by a federal grand jury in September 2015, and later in a superseding indictment in October 2016, as a result of an investigation by the FBI, State Police, and local police from Monroe County into the drug trafficking and sex trafficking activities of a gang known as the “Black P-Stones.” Griffin admitted in his guilty plea that he and other members of the gang distributed heroin in both Pennsylvania and Maine.

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