News and Press Releases

Pittsburgh Man Pleads Guilty To Conspiring To Distribute Large Amounts Of Marijuana

May 17, 2012

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Pittsburgh pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating the federal drug laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Griffin Abel, 34, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy before Senior United States District Judge Maurice B. Cohill.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from the fall of 2009 to Nov. 23, 2010, Abel conspired to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana. Abel arranged for at least five 100-pound shipments of marijuana to be transported in duffel bags from California and Nevada to Pittsburgh, where the drugs were delivered to Abel for distribution. Abel was arrested in Pittsburgh on Nov. 23, 2010, after a 125-pound shipment of marijuana destined for him in Pittsburgh was intercepted by police in Kansas. Seized at the same time were guns, a bullet proof vest, scales, cash, and a money-counting machine.

Judge Cohill scheduled sentencing for Sept. 18, 2012. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than five years and not more than 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 Gregory J. Nescott is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Griffin Abel.

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