HARRISBURG: The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Eric Banks, age 41, of York, Pennsylvania, was convicted on October 8, 2021, following a four-day jury trial held before United States District Court Judge Jennifer P. Wilson of conspiracy to distribute heroin, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, crack cocaine, and powder cocaine, possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking, and possession of firearms as a previously convicted felon.
According to Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Banks distributed significant quantities of heroin, fentanyl, crack cocaine, and powder cocaine in the York area in 2017 and 2018. In January 2018, during the execution of a search warrant at Banks’ York residence, law enforcement recovered drugs, drug-packaging materials, and three loaded handguns. Two of the handguns had been reported stolen.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the York County Drug Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carlo D. Marchioli and Christian T. Haugsby are prosecuting the case.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.”
This case was also brought as part of a district wide initiative to combat the nationwide epidemic regarding the use and distribution of heroin. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Heroin Initiative targets heroin traffickers operating in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and is part of a coordinated effort among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit heroin related offenses.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The maximum penalty under federal law for these offenses is imprisonment for life, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.