WILKES-BARRE — A man from Ashley who claimed to use 60 heroin bags a day was sentenced Tuesday in federal court for his role in a drug trafficking enterprise.
U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo sentenced Corey Arnott, 22, of Preston Street, to 18 months in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute heroin. He could have been sentenced to 48 months behind bars.
Caputo acknowledged he gave Arnott a break due to his age and willingness to stay sober.
Arnott said he hopes to take over his father’s tree-cutting business when he is released from prison and to become more involved in physical fitness. He said his heroin addiction of 60 bags a day was “out of control.”
Caputo asked Arnott how he financed his heroin purchases?
“Anyway I could have,” Arnott replied.
Arnott was one of 23 people indicted by a federal grand jury in June 2013 after a lengthy drug trafficking investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, state police and police in Hanover Township and Wilkes-Barre. He pleaded guilty to trafficking heroin on Jan. 28.
Assistant U.S. Attorney William Houser said Arnott was “more involved” in running the heroin trafficking enterprise than others who were indicted, primarily due to his heavy addiction.
After Arnott was arrested on June 10, 2013, he was released on his own recognizance to seek drug counseling. He relapsed and failed to report to federal probation officers.
U.S. Marshals were searching for Arnott when he “flagged down” an Ashley police officer.
Arnott’s attorney, Sandra M. Stepkovitch, said his relapse “opened his eyes” to seek help.
Stepkovitch said Arnott began using drugs when he was 18 at a time when Arnott got mixed up with the wrong people.
“Heroin is … I don’t know if it’s the worst drug,” Caputo said. “It seems heroin and methamphetamine get the most attention. You facilitated other people to get addicted. Your biggest problem is addiction. It’s going to be a life long battle.”
Arnott was also ordered to serve one year of supervised release.