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Grand jury indicts city man on drug, firearms charges

Apr. 8—A federal grand jury indicted a 40-year-old Hazleton man for drug and firearms offenses.

The indictment was handed down to William Heck on April 6, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Bruce Brandler, of the Middle District.

It alleges Heck had a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, was a convicted felon in possession of firearms and ammunition and possessed more than 40 grams (about 1.41 ounces) of methamphetamine and an additional amount of fentanyl for distribution in Luzerne County on Oct. 2.

The case, which is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force and the Pennsylvania State Police.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. O’Hara is prosecuting.

If found guilty, Heck faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison for the drug charge or up to a maximum sentence of life in prison. He faces an additional mandatory minimum of five years in prison up to life in prison for the firearms charge. That sentence is consecutive, which means it must start after any other sentence is served.

Heck faced drug charges before, he has two cases pending in Luzerne County Court, Wilkes-Barre, according to court records. One case was filed against him by Hazleton police in 2018 and anther was filed against him by state police at Hazleton in 2020.

— Amanda Christman

Contact the writer: achristman@standardspeaker.com; 570-501-3584