News and Press Releases

Braddock Area Drug Dealer Gets 10-Year Prison Sentence

July 18, 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ On July 15, 2011, a resident of Braddock, Pa., was sentenced in federal court to 120 months in prison and five years supervised release on his conviction of violating federal drug laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Joy Flowers Conti imposed the sentence on Brian E. Wells, 35.

According to information presented to the court, Wells' prosecution is part of an investigation led by the FBI which focused on drug trafficking activity occurring within and around the Braddock area.  The investigation was conceived to address gang related violence and crime.  The investigation, which utilized a Title III wiretap from January 2008 through September 2008, as well as surveillance, controlled drug purchases, and other investigative techniques, established the existence of a number of overlapping and interrelated drug distribution networks at work in the region.

The investigation revealed that a co-defendant worked to obtain multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine from Houston, Texas, and transport them to Western Pennsylvania.  For example, on April 17, 2008, the supplier and his courier were arrested en route to Houston with $217,000 dollars in their vehicle.  On June 11, 2008, the FBI tracked the courier en route from Houston to Western Pennsylvania, and coordinated his arrest in Columbus, Ohio.  The courier had eight kilograms of cocaine in the vehicle at that time. The investigation revealed that Wells was also a part of the drug distribution conspiracy.

The evidence included the recorded calls between one co-conspirator and Brian Wells on March 14, 2008 where they discuss their seven-gram crack cocaine deal. Other calls involve Wells discussing drug deals with the supplier, including a July 1, 2008, deal where Wells negotiated the purchase of nine ounces of cocaine for $7,500.

Assistant United States Attorneys Soo C. Song and Ross E. Lenhardt prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force (GPSSTF), and the Allegheny County District Attorney's Violent Crime and Firearm Task Force (VCFTF), which is comprised of investigators from the Allegheny County Sheriff's Department, the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office, for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Wells.

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