News and Press Releases

McKees Rocks Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Selling Heroin on Multiple Occasions

January 8, 2013

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of McKees Rocks, Pa., has been sentenced in federal court to 12 years in prison for his conviction of various violations of federal narcotics offenses, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Senior United States District Judge Alan N. Bloch imposed the 144-month sentence on Lopes-Viera, 25, on Jan. 3, 2013.

According to information presented to the court, on May 21, 2010, May 27, 2010, and again on March 8, 2011, Lopes-Viera possessed with intent to distribute less than 100 grams of heroin.

On both dates in May of 2010, Lopes-Viera was in the Canonsburg area when he sold heroin in a sticky, highly potent form known as "black tar," packaged in small colored balloons. On March 8, 2011, Lopes-Viera was arrested with just over two grams of the same substance, packaged in the same way.

At the time he entered his plea of guilty, Lopes-Viera additionally admitted to selling balloons of "black tar" heroin on Feb. 11, 2011, to a certain female customer. That customer shared the heroin with a friend later in the evening. The friend, an individual named James O'Donnell, died of an overdose as a result of his use of the "black tar" heroin that same night.

Assistant United States Attorney Barbara K. Swartz prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Drug Enforcement Administration for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Saul Lopes-Viera.

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