Member of large-scale Lebanon drug trafficking operation sentenced to 151 months in prison

HARRISBURG — A 31-year-old Lebanon man convicted for his role in a large-scale drug-trafficking operation will serve 151 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release after being sentenced in U.S. District Court on Wednesday, according to U.S. Attorney David J. Freed.

Michael Millan-Miranda and two co-defendants were convicted of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram and more of heroin in April 2017, Freed said in a press release. The parties stipulated that Millan-Miranda was responsible for at least 3 but less than 10 kilograms of heroin, which is equal to approximately 120,000 to 400,000 individual doses. Millan-Miranda was also convicted of possession with intent to distribute heroin and distribution of heroin after a six-day trial before U.S. District Court 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 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, investigators said. 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. 

A total of 13 people were charged as part of this operation:

• Julio Aviles, Sr., age 49, sentenced to life imprisonment;

• 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;

• Carlos Nazario, age 72; pending sentencing;

• Kengie Millan-Miranda, age 27, remains a fugitive.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Kengie Millan-Miranda, please contact Crime Stoppers at 717-270-9800.

 

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.