Pennsylvania Man Gets Life Sentence for Drugs

A man accused of masterminding a five-county drug ring in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Charles J. Sechler, 41, of Montoursville, fled to Canada upon being convicted on July 30, 2007, of conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine and 100 kilograms of marijuana, attempted manufacture of marijuana and possession of equipment used to manufacture marijuana.

He unsuccessfully sought refugee status before being deported back to the United States.

“The sentence rendered … was appropriate, especially given the nature of the offenses and Sechler’s attempt to escape the consequences of his crimes by hiding in Canada,” U.S. Attorney Peter J. Smith said of the sentence rendered Thursday by Senior U.S. District Judge Edwin M. Kosik in U.S. District Court, Scranton.

Sechler must also pay $3,000 in fines and $300 in special assessments as part of his sentence.

Sechler was indicted by a federal grand jury on Aug. 12, 2003, for allegedly masterminding a drug ring which operated in Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland and Schuylkill counties from 1995 through January 2003.

On Feb. 4, 2010, a three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Sechler’s petition to be allowed to prosecute his own appeal as an affront to the dignity of the U.S. District Court.

Sechler’s co-defendant, Steven Fausnaught, Danville, is currently serving more than 24 years in prison. The 3rd circuit already has affirmed Fausnaught’s conviction and sentence and the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa prosecuted the case. The FBI, Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, Bloomsburg police and Columbia County Drug Task Force participated in the investigation.

– Article from Republican Herald.

Man Sentenced to Life in Federal Prison for Drugs

Williamsport Sun-Gazette

A former Montoursville-area resident was sentenced to life in federal prison for his role in a methamphetamine and marijuana trafficking conspiracy over eight years, according to Peter J. Smith, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District.

Charles Sechler, 41, was convicted by a jury after a six-day trial in July 2007 for conspiring to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine and 100 kilograms of marijuana, Smith said.

In addition, Sechler attempted to grow marijuana and possessed equipment used to grow the drug, the prosecutor said.

After the trial, Sechler fled to Canada and was considered a fugitive for more than six months until he was apprehended by Canadian authorities with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service and extradited here to face sentencing.

Sechler was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Court Senior Judge Edwin M. Kosik in the Scranton office.

The drug ring operated in Lycoming, Columbia, Northumberland, Montour and Schuylkill counties from 1995 through January 2003, having links to drug traffickers in western portions of the U.S., Smith said.

Sechler and other conspirators possessed numerous firearms in connection with the drug operation, authorities alleged.

Sechler was indicted by a federal grand jury in August 2003 as a result of an investigation by the FBI, state police, state attorney general’s office, Bloomsburg police and Columbia County Drug Task Force, Smith said.

Steven Fausnaught of Catawissa, Sechler’s co-defendant, who was convicted of conspiracy and related charges, was previously sentenced to 24 years and four months in prison, Smith said.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa, a prosecutor in the Scranton office.

– Article from Williamsport Sun-Gazette.



  1. Anonymous on

    Thank you.

  2. Guitarod on

    It is generally accepted in the scientific community that alcohol is a drug, period. If consumers did not not get a buzz would they drink it? I don’t see non alcoholic beer being that big of a market.
    Marijuana laws are based on 100% pure lies, with little or no scientific basis. Look at the medicinal values. The problem is that there is no money to be made by doctor’s & the pharmaceutical companies. They make their money through prescriptions.
    The government’s game is to tolerate medicinal use while going after the suppliers. There is plenty of money & profits to be made by keeping weed illegal.
    Seems to me that the feds went from chasing commies to the DEA. They have to have a perceived enemy out there. For a bankrupt country like the USA, the funds for marijuana prosecution appear to be unlimited. Does this make good economic sense? In the real world all this money would be considered overhead & not even real money. Just keep printing more greenbacks & contributing to inflation.

  3. Mrs. Ratsrectum on

    The amount of marijuana he was moving, 100 kilos, is an indication of the demand for his territory/delivery routes. There is no way he was the only moving kilos at the time. It stands to reason the demand still exists because the cannabis consumers have not been identified and apprehended. Someone else has stepped in to fill the demand that he no longer is. It is quite naive to think that the disruption has curbed demand. How much is the average cost of imprisoning someone in the U.S. times the number of recreational and medical cannabis users? It just goes to show you that these prohibitionists are acting on behalf of their bloated egos going after individuals who will bring them high profile news reportage. If they really cared about their countrymen and their republic, they’d be declaring it for the impossible reality that it is.

  4. Toby on

    The alcohol comparison is politically important in cases like these: meth is about as dangerous as alcohol, and in some regards alcohol is more dangerous… people in the Western world generally consider the alcohol prohibition to have been immoral, partially because so many of them are alcohol addicts & simply love being booze heads, but there is also the ethical understanding that locking up alcohol makers is immoral because adults want the toxic crap.

    -The same argument applies to any drug, but people have been fooled into believing alcohol is not a drug (i.e. that false phrase we hear so regularly, ‘drugs & alcohol’ as if they’re mutually exclusive) & that drugs other than alcohol are more dangerous (far from the truth). So, ignorance is probably a bigger problem than sadism is… that’s probably a good thing…

    It is, clearly, tyranny which rivals the behavior of some Middle Eastern dictators to arrest someone for growing cannabis, or making methamphetamine; if a meth producer should get life in prison, then so should the CEO of Budweiser: in fact neither should.

  5. @iconicles on

    Without a doubt marijuana should be legal, but this man got what he deserves for the methamphetamines and the greed. Meth and Greed, but especially Meth, are indiscriminate killers. Who knows how many lives his actions ruined? Life as a prisoner is the least he owes for spreading poison.
    Articles about issues like this are part of why pot has not yet gained widespread acceptance among the straitlaced. Conservatives will never come to accept cannabis as long as it remains easy to convince them that marijuana legalization will lead to Meth, Coke, and PCP legalization.