Pittsburgh Marijuana Distributor Sentenced To 5 Years In Prison
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Acting United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar announced today, April 22, 2010, that Christopher George Leventis, a resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court in Pittsburgh to 60 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release on his conviction of violating federal drug laws.
United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer imposed the sentence on Leventis, age 35.
According to information presented to the court by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory J. Nescott, beginning in 2004 and continuing through July 2008, a Canadian drug trafficking group began smuggling 300‑pound loads of high‑grade, hydroponic marijuana across the border into the United States, hidden within legitimate commercial cargo. The marijuana was destined for the Pittsburgh area, and at least six cities in other states. It wholesaled for $2,000 per pound or more, with the retail, or "street", value being several multiples of that.
Millions of dollars in cash were sent back to Canada from Western Pennsylvania, with several shipments of drug proceeds being intercepted and seized by agents before the money could be smuggled into Canada. Cash seizures included approximately $225,000 in Pittsburgh in February 2008; $222,000 in Niagara Falls, New York in June 2008; and $660,000 in Allegheny County in July 2008.
Leventis functioned as a local distributor of the marijuana. Fifteen individuals were indicted in this case, eight citizens of the United States and seven Canadians. Three remain in Canada, contesting extradition, with the others awaiting court appearances in Pittsburgh.
Mr. Cessar commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration (Pittsburgh and Buffalo), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Cleveland), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Greater Toronto Area Drug Section, the Asian Organized Crime Task Force of Ontario, and the Canada Border Services Agency, along with the Internal Revenue Service‑Criminal Investigation, United States Postal Inspection Service, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the City of Pittsburgh Police for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Christopher George Leventis.