Drug dealer gets nearly 9 years in prison for sell­ing bath salts

The Citizens' Voice - - Local - BY JAMES HALPIN STAFF WRITER Con­tact the writer: jhalpin@cit­i­zensvoice.com 570-821-2058, @cvjimhalpin

SCRAN­TON — A WilkesBarre man ac­cused of con­spir­ing to dis­trib­ute bath salts was sen­tenced this week to serve nearly nine years in fed­eral prison, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice.

Robert Louis Benussi III, 26, was sen­tenced to 107 months in prison fol­lowed by three years of pro­ba­tion for con­spir­ing with oth­ers to dis­trib­ute drugs ob­tained from sup­pli­ers in China to buy­ers in Luzerne County from 2014 to 2015.

Se­nior U.S. District Court Judge James M. Mun­ley im­posed the sen­tence Thurs­day, not­ing Benussi used “force, threats, and in­tim­i­da­tion” as part of his role in the con­spir­acy, pros­e­cu­tors said.

So far, 18 peo­ple have been charged in the case since July 2013, in­clud­ing a Tex­as­based sup­plier, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice.

Benussi, who is be­ing held at the Lack­awanna County Prison, is also sched­uled to plead guilty on state rob­bery and ter­ror­is­tic threat cases next month, ac­cord­ing to court records.

Ear­lier this month, Benussi filed a fed­eral civil rights law­suit al­leg­ing of­fi­cials at the Luzerne County Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity failed to prop­erly treat a bro­ken foot, caus­ing him “great pain and dis­com­fort.” The com­plaint al­leges Benussi broke his foot while play­ing bas­ket­ball at the jail as he await­ing trial on the rob­bery charges, and that de­spite mak­ing fre­quent com­plaints, he was not prop­erly treated for his in­jury for a month.

County of­fi­cials have de­clined to com­ment on the pend­ing lit­i­ga­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.