News and Press Releases

Pittsburgh Man Pleads Guilty In Heroin Distribution Scheme

June 24, 2010

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Acting United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar announced today, June 24, 2010, that Oronde Shelton, a resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to distribute heroin.

Shelton, age 36, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Gary L. Lancaster.

In connection with the guilty plea, Assistant United States Attorney Gregory J. Nescott advised the court that between March and May of 2008, Shelton employed an individual to pick up heroin in New Jersey and transport it back to Western Pennsylvania for sale.  Multiple trips brought between 250 and 800 bricks of heroin to Pittsburgh each time at a cost of $30,000 to $80,000 per shipment.  Shelton then had others distribute the bricks (with a brick containing 50 "stamp bags" or dosage units) to street sellers and addicts.

Shelton also used others to package and sell brick quantities of heroin even after he was incarcerated in September 2008, coordinating the distributions from behind the walls of a state correctional institution.  The total amount of heroin distributed in this conspiracy was between one and three kilograms (2.2 ‑ 6.6 pounds).

Judge Lancaster scheduled sentencing for October 19, 2010. The law provides for a total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $4,000,000, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Oronde Shelton.

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