Pittsburgh Man Admits Receiving Packages of Cocaine Mailed from California
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A Pittsburgh resident pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Richard Hayes, 32, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Terrence F. McVerry.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on Feb. 23, 2011, U.S. postal inspectors in Pittsburgh executed a search warrant for a suspicious package mailed from Rialto, Calif., to Pittsburgh, which contained in excess of 20 pounds of marijuana. When Hayes attempted to pick up the package, he was arrested. Inside his wallet, agents found two receipts for other packages mailed from Rialto to Pittsburgh one day earlier.
On Feb. 24, 2011, inspectors located one of the other packages, secured a search warrant, and found 4½ kilograms (in excess of nine pounds) of cocaine inside. The wholesale value in Pittsburgh of nine pounds of cocaine would be between $160,000 - $180,000, with a retail or "street" value likely exceeding a half million dollars.
Judge McVerry scheduled sentencing for Oct. 10, 2013. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than five years to a maximum of 40 years in prison, a fine of $5,000,000, 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 United States Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Richard Hayes.