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Scranton, PA

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced Friday that Anibal Luis Rodriguez, age 27, of Pottsville, pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, before U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Rodriguez, admitted to committing the offense between July 2016 and May 24, 2017, in Schuylkill County and elsewhere. The plea agreement notes that Rodriguez was the organizer and leader of the drug conspiracy and used violence or threats in connection with the drug conspiracy.

Rodriguez was indicted by a grand jury along with three other persons in August 2017. Two of those co-defendants, David Castro and Laverne Schaeffer, previously pleaded guilty to participating in the conspiracy and are awaiting sentencing. Another co-conspirator, Ernest Schaeffer, also previously pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

Charges in Schuykill County were withdrawn in favor of the federal criminal charges. The defendant in this case pleaded guilty to charges of Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver in Berks County in a plea deal that resulted in a sentence of 3 months to 23 months in 2011.  While on probation for those charges Rodriguez was arrested in 2012 for Terroristic Threats W/ Int To Terrorize Another only to see those charges dismissed 

Judge Mariani ordered a presentence report to be completed. The maximum penalty under federal law is life in prison, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. The charge also carries a mandatory minimum penalty of ten years’ imprisonment. Sentencing has not been scheduled in this case.