News and Press Releases

Grand Jury Returns Superseding Indictments in Homestead-Area Drug & Gun Cases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2013

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - On Aug. 6, 2013, a federal grand jury issued superseding indictments in six related cases involving drug trafficking and violence in Homestead, Pa., United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today. The superseding indictments added new firearms and drug trafficking counts and one additional defendant, to drug and gun charges filed against 34 people on March 14, 2013. The original indictments followed a year-long federal, state, and local law enforcement investigation.

THE SUPERSEDING INDICTMENTS

The first superseding indictment, containing seven counts, named:
Brandon Thompson, 30, of Homestead, Pa.;
Antonio Hardin, 32, of Monroeville, Pa.;
James Walker, 44, of Homestead, Pa.;
Joseph Thompson, II, 25, of Homestead, Pa.;
Richard Wood, 34, of Homestead, Pa.;
Gregory Harris, Jr., 24, of Homestead, Pa.; and
Luther Harper, 27, of Homestead, Pa.

According to the indictment, from in and around April 2012, to in and around February 2013, in the Western District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere, Brandon Thompson, Hardin, Walker, Joseph Thompson, II, Wood, Harris, and Harper, conspired together and with others to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance. The indictment also charges that on or about Aug. 12, 2012, Brandon Thompson used, carried, possessed in furtherance of, brandished, and discharged firearms during and in relation to that heroin trafficking conspiracy. The indictment further charges Antonio Hardin with, on or about Feb. 11, 2013, possessing with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Last, on or about Jan. 26, 2013, the indictment charges Richard Wood with possession with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin, and charges Walker and Hardin with distribution and possession with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin. There were no new charges added. However, Brandon Thompson and Antonio Hardin were both named in additional forfeiture allegations. Ed Cook was charged in the initial indictment for discharging a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, and he has since pled guilty to that charge.

The second superseding indictment, containing two counts, named:
Troy Anderson, 24, of Braddock, Pa.;
Mark Felder, 25, of Duquesne, Pa.; and
Dorianne Harris, 20, of Wilkinsburg, Pa.

According to the indictment, from in and around May 2012, and continuing thereafter to in and around March 2013, in the Western District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere, Anderson, Felder, and Harris, conspired with others to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance. In terms of new charges, Anderson was charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime on or about March 14, 2013.

The third superseding indictment, containing three counts, named:
Sterling Marshall, 18, of Munhall, Pa.;
Tireal Wheeler, 19, of Homestead, Pa.; and
Jordan Murphy, 21, of Homestead, Pa.

According to the indictment, from in and around May 2012, and continuing thereafter to in and around February 2013, in the Western District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere, Marshall, Wheeler and Murphy conspired together and with others to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance. Additionally, the indictment charges that, during that same time period, those same defendants knowingly conspired to employ and hire persons under 18 years of age to distribute heroin. In terms of new charges, Marshall was charged with possession with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin on or about March 14, 2013. Andre Corbett was charged in the initial indictment, and he has since pled guilty to both counts contained within that indictment.

The fourth superseding indictment, containing six counts, named:
Jay Germany, 22, of Pittsburgh, Pa.;
Brady Hall, 19, of Pittsburgh, Pa.;
Jaquan Washington, 23, of Homestead, Pa.;
Hector Guadalupe, Jr., 36, of Brooklyn, NY;
Santino Drew, 34, of New Brunswick, NJ;
Thomas Martinez, 34, of Edison, NJ; and
Louis Spinnenweber, Jr., 34, of Canonsburg, Pa.

According to the indictment, from in and around May 2012, and continuing thereafter to in and around February 2013, in the Western District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere, Germany, Hall, Washington, Guadalupe, Jr., Drew, and Martinez, conspired together and with others to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance. The indictment further charges that, during that same time period, Germany, Hall, and Washington knowingly conspired to employ and hire persons under 18 years of age to distribute heroin. Additionally, on or about Jan. 30, 2013 and Jan. 31, 2013, Drew and Martinez possessed with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. Also, on or about Nov. 21, 2012, Spinnenweber, Jr., possessed with the intent to distribute a quantity of a heroin. Last, on or about Oct. 30, 2013, Germany and Hall possessed with the intent to distribute and did distribute a quantity of heroin, and, in a new charge, Washington engaged in that same conduct on or about March 11, 2013.

The fifth superseding indictment, containing 11 counts, named:
Bryce Harper, 26, of Homestead, Pa.;
Diamantia Serrano, 19, of McKeesport, Pa.;
Lacie Harper, 24, of Homestead, Pa.;
Ryan Harper, 36, of Munhall, Pa.;
Jamar Harper, 32, of Homestead, Pa.;
Ronnell Robinson, 19, of Duquesne, Pa.;
Seth Lindsey, 18, of Duquesne, Pa.; and
Diassandai Serrano, 18, of McKeesport, Pa.

According to the indictment, from in and around July, 2012, and continuing thereafter to in and around February, 2013, in the Western District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere, Bryce Harper, Diamantia Serrano, Lacie Harper, Ryan Harper, Jamar Harper, Ronnell Robinson, and Seth Lindsey conspired together and with others to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance. The indictment further charges that, during that same time period, those same defendants knowingly conspired to employ and hire persons under 18 years of age to distribute heroin. Also, the indictment charges that on or about Sept. 19, 2012, Bryce, Ryan, and Jamar Harper, together with Diamantia Serrano, possessed with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin.

The indictment added the following eight new counts. On or about Feb. 27, 2013, Diamantia Serrano possessed with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin, and on that same day, his brother, Diassandai Serrano, a new defendant, possessed a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. On March 13, 2013, Ryan Harper distributed a quantity of heroin, and on Feb.
13 and 19, 2013, Ronnell Robinson distributed a quantity of heroin. On Sept. 17, 2012, Ronnell Robinson possessed a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and Bryce Harper was charged with that same crime on March 14, 2013. Also on March 14, 2013, Bryce Harper was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The sixth superseding indictment, containing five counts, named:
Thomas Hopes, 21, of Pittsburgh, Pa.;
Keith Harris, 22, of Homestead, Pa.;
Anthony Smith, 21, of Homestead, Pa.;
Hakeem Kirby, 19, of Homestead, Pa.;
William McDonald, 68, of Homestead, Pa.;
Ronnell Robinson, 19, of Duquesne, Pa.;
Gregory Harris, Jr., 24, of Homestead, Pa.;
Sterling Marshall, 18, of Munhall, Pa.; and
Diamantia Serrano, 19, of McKeesport, Pa.

According to the indictment, from in and around May, 2012, and continuing thereafter to in and around February, 2013, in the Western District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere, Hopes, Harris, Smith, Kirby, and McDonald conspired together and with others to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance. The indictment further charges that, during that same time period, those same defendants knowingly conspired to employ and hire persons under 18 years of age to distribute heroin. The indictment also charges that on or about Dec. 18, 2012, Hopes and Kirby possessed with the intent to distribute and did distribute a quantity of heroin. Also, on March 14, 2013, Kirby possessed with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin. Last, the indictment charges that on or about Jan. 3, 2013, Robinson, Keith and Gregory Harris, Marshall, Serrano and Hopes used, carried, possessed in furtherance of, brandished and discharged firearms during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime and a crime of violence.

PENALTIES

On the conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin count, the law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than 10 years and up to life in prison, a fine of $10,000,000, or both, for a first-time drug trafficking conviction. For those with one prior felony drug trafficking conviction, the law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than 20 years and up to life in prison, a fine of $20,000,000 or both, and for those with two prior felony drug trafficking convictions, the law provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison.

On the firearms' counts charging possession, use, brandishing or discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime, the law provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years if the gun is possessed in furtherance of the crime, seven years if the gun is brandished in furtherance of the crime, and 10 years if the gun is discharged in furtherance of the crime. These sentences, by law, must run consecutively to any sentence imposed for the narcotics counts. In addition, the law imposes a fine of up to $250,000. For second or consecutive counts of this nature, the law provides for a mandatory minimum consecutive sentence of 25 years.

For the firearms count charging possession of a firearm by a felon, the law provides for a maximum total sentence of up to ten years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. However, if the Court determines that the defendant has three previous convictions for either crimes of violence or serious drug offenses, the law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than 15 years and up to life in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.

Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Eric S. Rosen is prosecuting these cases on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Pennsylvania State Police, Allegheny County Sheriff's Office, McKeesport Police Department, Munhall Police Department, and the West Homestead Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of the abovementioned individuals.

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

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