News and Press Releases

Three Plead Guilty in Large-Scale Heroin Trafficking Operation

September 11, 2012

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Three residents of Pittsburgh, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, to charges of violating federal narcotics and firearms laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Gary Moorefield, 45, pleaded guilty to two counts of violating federal narcotics and firearms laws; Dequillarae Zellous, 39, pleaded guilty to one count of violating federal narcotics laws; and David Michael Jones, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of violating federal narcotics laws. All three defendants pled guilty before Senior United States District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that the investigation culminated in wiretaps on two cell phones utilized by Gary Moorefield. The wiretaps, conducted from the end of July 2010 through mid-September 2010, confirmed that Moorefield obtained kilogram quantities of heroin from a supplier in the New York/New Jersey area approximately one-to-two times per week through the use of a courier. Moorefield would supply his courier with large sums of U.S. currency (often in excess of $100,000 per trip), and the courier would travel to either Newark, New Jersey or New York City to obtain the heroin from the supplier.

The courier would then drive back to the Pittsburgh area and deliver the large quantities of heroin directly to Moorefield at either Moorefield’s residence located in Penn Hills, or at his penthouse apartment located in Monroeville, Pa.

After receiving the heroin from his courier, Moorefield would contact his primary drug distributors, including Dequillarae Zellous and David Michael Jones, and arrange to meet the distributors to supply them with large quantities of heroin.

On Aug. 11, 2010, federal agents (working in conjunction with the Pennsylvania State Police) seized $103,000 in U.S. currency from Moorefield’s courier who was en route to meet with the heroin source in the New York/New Jersey area.

On Sept. 17, 2010, federal agents in New Jersey seized a bag containing $89,000 in U.S. currency that Moorefield personally delivered to the heroin source in New York City shortly before the seizure.

On Sept. 23, 2010, federal agents executed a search warrant at Moorefield’s residence. Inside the residence agents discovered approximately $72,000 in U.S. currency, a bulletproof vest, and four loaded firearms.

Judge Ambrose scheduled sentencing for Jan. 9, 2013, for Moorefield, Zellous, and Jones. According to the terms of the plea agreements recited in court, Moorefield has agreed to a sentence of 25 years in prison, while both Zellous and Jones have agreed to sentences of 10 years in prison.

Assistant United States Attorneys Charles A. Eberle and Troy Rivetti are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

A federally administered Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Moorefield, Zellous and Jones. The task force was headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and was comprised of members drawn from the Baldwin Borough Police, the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office, the Munhall Police, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Duquesne Police, the West Homestead Police, the Allegheny County Police, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Assistance in the investigation was provided by the Penn Hills Police, the Monroeville Police, the McKees Rocks Police, and the Wilkinsburg Police Department.

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