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Wilkes-Barre Man Sentenced To 180 Months’ Imprisonment For Running Methamphetamine Laboratory

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Michael Laury, age 42, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 180 months’ imprisonment by United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion, for methamphetamine and false statement offenses.

According to Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Laury was convicted at trial of one count of managing a drug premises, one count of conspiring to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine, and one count of making a false statement to the FBI.  The evidence presented at trial showed that in May and June 2017, Laury assisted two drug dealers in running a methamphetamine laboratory in the basement of Laury’s Wilkes-Barre residence.  The FBI and Pennsylvania State Police shuttered the laboratory in June 2017, when executing a search warrant.  Following the search, Laury made false statements to the FBI about his knowledge of and involvement with the laboratory.

At sentencing, Laury was held accountable for between 50 grams and 200 grams of methamphetamine.  In pronouncing sentence, Judge Mannion highlighted Laury’s extensive criminal history, and his efforts to bribe two witnesses into giving false testimony at trial, and to threaten a third witness against testifying.  Laury also was held accountable for creating a substantial risk of harm to children that lived in the same residence as the methamphetamine laboratory.

Laury has remained in custody since his October 2017 arrest.  He was charged with three coconspirators, all of whom pleaded guilty and have been sentenced:

  1. Mark Heath, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to a methamphetamine conspiracy and was sentenced to 84 months’ imprisonment;
  2. Shawn Melleski, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to a methamphetamine conspiracy and was sentenced to 46 months’ imprisonment; and
  3. Amy Casey, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to maintaining a drug premises and received a time served sentence of approximately 9 months.

The matter was investigated by the FBI, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Wilkes-Barre Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorneys Phillip J. Caraballo and Jeffrey St John prosecuted the case.

This case was being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.”