Judge Hammond tosses Franklin Geiger’s post-conviction motion

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Detective Anthony Chimenti escorts Franklin M. Geiger after his arrest in 2016.

A post-conviction motion for a Warren man sentenced to a lengthy prison term in 2016 has been dismissed.

Franklin M. Geiger, 49, currently SCI Chester, was sentenced by Hammond in October to 92 to 184 months in state prison on two counts of possession with intent to deliver, criminal use of a communications facility, corrupt organizations, buying/exchanging federal food stamps and cruelty to animals.

Among many charges alleged in the affidavit of probable cause, Geiger had tenants and employees who bought and sold drugs for him, his tenants paid rent in part or in full through selling drugs, Geiger bought Pennsylvania Access cards from people, and, on two occasions, he sold drugs to confidential informants.

Police listed Geiger’s monthly rental income at $11,000 and said the “rental income and the drug trafficking money are so intertwined that the monies are unable to be differentiated,” according to the affidavit probable cause.

Judge Gregory Hammond started Friday’s proceeding by noting that the issue includes a “convoluted procedural backdrop.”

Attorney John Thomas, court appointed to represent Geiger, argued that two of the charges to which Geiger pled – possession with intent to deliver and corrupt organizations – should have merged for sentencing purposes, alleging that because they were not, that Geiger is serving an illegal sentence.

He noted that offenses under the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act are included under the corrupt organization statute. Possession with intent to deliver also falls under that Act.

Hammond noted that there is case law from the Superior Court that is “contrary to what you’re saying.”

“Frankly, I think (the opinion is) controlling,” he continued, indicating a belief that the Superior Court opinion is “binding precedent” and the “only case I can find on point.”

District Attorney Rob Greene said much of what he would say had already been said and requested that the motion be denied.

Hammond dismissed the motion.