Local Man Pleads Guilty To Conspiring To Distribute Cocaine
PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Pittsburgh, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal drug laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Matthew Robert Balzer, 28, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Terrence F. McVerry.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from in or around October 2007, and continuing until in or around September 2008, in the Western District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere, Balzer conspired with others to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams but less than two kilograms of cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance.
Judge McVerry scheduled sentencing for Feb. 25, 2011, at 2:30 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than five years and up to 40 years in prison, a fine of $2,000,000, 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.
Assistant United States Attorney Troy Rivetti is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Balzer. Other agencies participating in the investigation include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Pennsylvania State Police, the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office ‑ Violent Crimes/Firearms Task Force, the Allegheny County Sheriff's Department, the Allegheny County Police Department, the Allegheny County Adult Probation, the Internal Revenue Service ‑ Criminal Investigation, the United States Marshals Service, the West Mifflin Police Department, the Coraopolis Police Department, the Jefferson Hills Police Department, the Mount Lebanon Police Department, and the Pennsylvania State Parole.
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