Two Men Sentenced for Distributing Controlled Substances Resulting in Death

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SCRANTON, PA — The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Demetrius Taylor, age 30, of Patterson, New Jersey, and Joseph Decker, age 28, of Monroe County, Pennsylvania, were sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion for heroin/fentanyl trafficking offenses resulting in death. Taylor received a sentence of 240 months in prison and Decker was sentenced to 180 months in prison.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, both Decker and Taylor previously pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl, resulting in death.  On February 21, 2020, Taylor distributed heroin and fentanyl to Decker, who subsequently distributed the heroin and fentanyl to an individual who, in turn, shared it with a 32-year-old woman.  The woman overdosed and died on February 26, 2020, after ingesting the drugs.

On July 18, 2022, Taylor and Decker’s co-conspirator, Mary Keiper, age 27, of Monroe County, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute and possesses with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin and fentanyl and is awaiting sentencing.

The charges stem from a joint investigation involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Scranton, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department.  United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski is prosecuting the case.

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