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Chambersburg drug trafficker sentenced to life in prison

May 28, 2013
  • Staten
Staten

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A 44-year-old former Chambersburg, Pa., man who participated in a Franklin County-based drug-trafficking conspiracy was sentenced May 21 by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Yvette Kane to serve a mandatory term of life in prison without release.

After a five-day jury trial in August 2012, Herman Charles Staten, aka Chuck Staten, formerly of 465 E. Washington St., Chambersburg, was convicted of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of more than 280 grams of crack cocaine, and conspiracy to distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine.

Evidence presented at trial indicated that Staten and his co-conspirators obtained large quantities of crack cocaine from Staten’s supplier in Harrisburg, then returned to Franklin County, where they used the residences of several drug users to convert powder cocaine into crack cocaine before distributing it to numerous customers in the Chambersburg area, according to a news release from Franklin County District Attorney Matthew D. Fogal.

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Prior to his federal indictment, Staten was under investigation by the Franklin County Drug Task Force from January 2008 to June 2010, according to the news release.

During that time, the drug task force made numerous undercover purchases of crack cocaine from Staten and his co-conspirators in the Borough of Chambersburg, Hamilton Township and Guilford Township.

During this investigation, Staten was on supervised release from a previous federal drug conviction in 2005, which was the result of a previous investigation conducted by the Franklin County Drug Task Force, the release states.

Based on Staten’s prior criminal record, which included at least two prior felony drug convictions, the Franklin County District Attorney’s office referred Staten’s case to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for federal prosecution. Under federal law, an individual convicted of a felony drug offense can face statutory mandatory penalties ranging from 20 years to life, and an individual convicted of a felony drug offense to which certain drug quantities are established can face mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment of five or 10 years.

The mandatory minimums can increase to 20 years and life, respectively, if it is established that an individual has one or more prior felony drug convictions, as Staten did. That is commonly known as the federal “three strikes” statute.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William Behe.

The Pennsylvania State Police, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Chambersburg Borough Police Department assisted the Franklin County Drug Task Force with the investigation.

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