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Member of drug trafficking operation in Lebanon County sentenced to life imprisonment

HARRISBURG — The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Julio Aviles, Sr., age 49, of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on August 27, 2018, to life imprisonment and eight years’ supervised release by United States District Court Judge John E. Jones, III for various drug trafficking and firearms offenses.

According to David J. Freed, Aviles was convicted on April 11, 2017, along with codefendants Michael Millan-Miranda, age 31, of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and Israel Nazario, age 62, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, all members of a Lebanon County Drug Trafficking Organization, of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram and more of heroin. Julio Aviles Sr. was also convicted of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base, also known as crack cocaine and cocaine powder, possession with intent to distribute 100 grams and more of heroin, 28 grams and more of crack cocaine and a quantity of cocaine hydrochloride, three counts of distribution of heroin, distribution of crack and cocaine powder, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, being a convicted felon in possession of firearms and maintaining a premise for the purpose of drug trafficking. Michael Millan-Miranda was also convicted of possession with the intent to distribute heroin and the distribution of heroin. Israel Nazario was also convicted of simple possession of heroin. The six-day trial was held in federal court in Harrisburg before United States District Judge John E. Jones, III.

The two-year investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Lebanon County Drug Task Force culminated with the execution of search warrants at 513 Arnold Street and 443 North 6th Street, in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, on May 14, 2015. During the search at 513 Arnold Street, law enforcement agents discovered a “heroin mill” where kilogram amounts of heroin were being processed on a weekly basis. The evidence at trial revealed that Julio Aviles, Sr., a previously convicted drug dealer, owned and operated the heroin mill and employed a network of sellers, packagers, brokers and testers to conduct this illegal enterprise. Packagers were paid approximately $500 a week like factory workers to process and package the heroin for later distribution. The testers operated as quality assurance inspectors to ensure the heroin was of sufficient quality.

At the time of the searches, law enforcement agents found over 400 grams of heroin, over 85 grams of cocaine powder, and over 71 grams of crack cocaine. A kilogram of heroin, which weighs approximately 2.2 pounds is equivalent to approximately 40,000 to 50,000 individual doses of heroin, any one of which can be fatal depending on its purity and the nature of its other ingredients. In this case the evidence established that the drug trafficking organization was mixing the heroin with Fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone and Lidocaine. Law enforcement agents estimated that this drug operation was distributing heroin, crack cocaine, and cocaine for a two-year period and during the last few months was distributing kilogram quantities of heroin, crack cocaine and cocaine powder. The value of the drugs distributed has a conservative street value of between $3 million and $5 million.

Located in the processing room were over 52,000 small Ziploc style bags, 37,000 small glassine bags and over 28,000 rubber bands that are used to package controlled substances. Each rubber band was used to package ten individual bags of heroin, called a bundle.

Law enforcement also located three handguns, ten rifles, six shotguns and paraphernalia consistent with a large-scale drug trafficking operation. During the search at 443 North 6th Street, law enforcement officers located additional quantities of heroin, cocaine powder, and crack cocaine along with drug packaging materials.

Thirteen individuals, all together were charged as part of this operation:

• Isrrael Nazario, age 62, sentenced to 180 months’ imprisonment;

• Julio Aviles, Jr., age 24, sentenced to 28 months’ imprisonment;

• Leandro Nazario, age 30, sentenced to 240 months’ imprisonment;

• Suheidy Soto-Concepcion, age 35, sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment;

• Eliezer Soto-Concepcion, age 36, sentenced to 144 months’ imprisonment;

• Brenda Soto, age 35, sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison;

• Geidy Arroyo, age 37, time served;

• Brittany Rivera, age 24, sentenced to one year and one day in prison;

• Brent Moyer, age 22, sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment;

• Michael Millan-Miranda, age 31;

• Carlos Nazario, age 72; and

• Kengie Millan-Miranda, age 27.

Julio Aviles, Jr., Brittany Rivera, Brent Moyer, Carlos Nazario, Brenda Soto and Geidy Arroyo all pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 1,000 grams and more of heroin. On the day of trial, Leandro Nazario, Eliezer Soto-Concepcion and Suheidy Soto-Concepcion all pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 1,000 grams and more of heroin, 280 grams and more of cocaine base, or crack cocaine and an unspecified quantity of cocaine hydrochloride or powder cocaine. One charged individual, Kengie Millan-Miranda, remains a fugitive. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Kengie Millan-Miranda, please contact Crime Stoppers at 717-270-9800.

The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Lebanon County Drug Task Force, Lebanon County Detective Bureau, Lebanon City Police Department,

Cornwall Borough Police Department, and assisted by the Lebanon County Probation Department. Special Assistant United States Attorney Nichole Eisenhart who also serves as the First Assistant District Attorney in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania and Assistant United States Attorney Daryl F. Bloom, Chief of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force prosecuted the case.

Source: United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania