News and Press Releases

Two Facing Federal Gun and Drug Charges

April 12, 2012

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Two Allegheny County residents have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of violating federal drug and firearm laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

The seven-count indictment, returned on April 10, named Richard Bush, 48, of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Willis Wheeler, 40, of Rankin, Pa., as defendants.

According to the indictment presented to the court, from August of 2011 to March of 2012, in the Western District of Pennsylvania, Bush and Wheeler conspired with one another and with others to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. Also on March 14, 2012, Bush and Wheeler possessed with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. Bush also possessed firearms in furtherance of these offenses, as well as an unregistered firearm. Both Bush and Wheeler have previous felony convictions and Federal law prohibits anyone who has been convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year from possessing a firearm. The indictment alleges that both Bush and Wheeler possessed firearms after having been convicted of felony offenses.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than 10 years and up to life in prison, a fine of $20,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.

Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force consisting of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Allegheny County Sheriff's Office, Wilkinsburg Police Department, Allegheny County Police Dept., Oakdale Police Dept, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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