Harrisburg man sentenced on Federal guns, drug trafficking charges

19 January 2023- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that United States District Court Judge Jennifer P. Wilson sentenced Heriberto Ortiz-Torres, age 34, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to 139 months in prison for drug trafficking and was sentenced separately to 78 months in prison for possession of a firearm by a felon. The sentences are to run concurrently.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Ortiz-Torres pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute over 500 grams of cocaine. Ortiz-Torres was part of a conspiracy that brought kilogram size quantities of cocaine into the Harrisburg area from Puerto Rico. Ortiz-Torres was involved in several transactions involving multiple ounces of cocaine and was also overheard in conversations discussing procuring and storing firearms.

Ortiz-Torres was arrested by the Harrisburg Police Department on February 8, 2019, following a traffic stop in which he possessed a loaded .40 caliber Glock handgun. The handgun was modified to fire on fully automatic, and Ortiz-Torres had previously been convicted of a felony offense, prohibiting him from possessing firearms.

The cases were investigated by the Harrisburg Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daryl F. Bloom and Scott R. Ford prosecuted the cases.

These cases are part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.