Multi-Agency Investigation Leads to Drug Charges Against 11 People in Four States
PITTSBURGH – Eleven people from several states have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh for violating federal drug trafficking laws on a major scale, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
The one-count indictment, returned on Sept. 25 and unsealed on Oct. 1, charges: Luis Carde, 41, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Jason Beggarly, 36, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; T Nolan Hardeman, 31, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Orlando Hernandez, 39, of Kissimmee, Fla.; Nakei Jackson, 37, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Edred Melendez, 39, of Orlando, Fla.; Lamar Miles, 36, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Rhionna Rhodes, 33, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Robert Rios, 25, of Ridgewood, New York; Angel Rodriguez, 50, of Cleveland, Ohio; and Justin Silvio, 36, of Pittsburgh, Pa., as defendants
According to the indictment, from in and around January 2011 to in and around September 2013, the above-named defendants conspired with each other to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, and one kilogram or more of heroin.
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. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorneys Katherine A. King and Craig W. Haller are prosecuting this case on behalf of the United States.
A task force led by the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case. The task force also included several other federal, state, and local agencies from multiple states, including the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the United States Marshals Service, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, the Allegheny County Police Department, the Penn Hills Police Department, the Monroeville Police Department, and the McKees Rocks Police Department.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.