Beaver County Prescription Drug Ring Leader Guilty of Violating Firearms, Narcotics and Burglary Laws
PITTSBURGH – After hearing seven days of testimony from more than 33 witnesses, and after deliberating for nine hours, a federal jury of seven men and five women found David Best guilty of 11 counts of violating federal firearms, narcotics and burglary laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
David Best, 28, of Coraopolis, Pa., was tried before United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Eric S. Rosen, who prosecuted the case, the evidence presented at trial established that Best conspired together with others, from in and around July 2011, and continuing thereafter to in and around May 2013, to distribute and possess with intent to distribute large quantities of oxycodone and Opana, both of which are Schedule II controlled substances. Additionally, on April 18, 2013 and April 30, 2013, Best distributed oxycodone and oxymorphone, in the form known as Opana to a confidential informant. These sales were captured on videotape. The evidence presented at trial demonstrated that David Best was the leader of this Beaver County based drug trafficking organization which, over the course of the conspiracy, possessed with the intent to distribute and distributed Schedule II prescription drugs with an estimated street value of more than $600,000.
The jury also determined that on three separate occasions, Dec. 1, 2011, Sept. 26-27, 2012, and Feb. 15, 2013, Best burglarized the MedFast pharmacy in Baden, Pa.,, and from that pharmacy, stole a number of Schedule II controlled substances, including: fentanyl, oxymorphone, including in the form known as Opana, Ritalin, oxycodone, including in the form known as Oxycontin, methylphenidate, Vyvanse, morphine sulfate, Roxicet, Focalin, methylphenidate, hydromorphone, methadone, and meperidine. On two occasions, Best chiseled through the wall of the neighboring China Garden restaurant into the pharmacy, and on the third occasion, Best broke into the Bo-Rics hair salon, and from there, burrowed directly into the MedFast controlled substances cabinet. Best stole these controlled substances in order to distribute them.
Finally, the jury convicted David Best of carrying and brandishing a loaded revolver during and in relation to his drug trafficking conspiracy on June 20, 2012. The jury determined that Best held two men hostage at gunpoint after he lured them to his Economy Township home under the guise that he had a large stash of drugs and drug proceeds in his room. Best suspected that these two men were conspiring to steal his drug proceeds, so he preemptively attacked and held them hostage at gunpoint. The jury also found that Best possessed this firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking conspiracy.
Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for Sept. 15, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. On the drug distribution charges, the law provides for a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison on each count and a fine of up to $1,000,000. On the pharmacy burglary charges, the law provides for a maximum total sentence as to each count of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. These sentences can be imposed concurrently or consecutively to each other. Finally, for the firearms charge, the Court must impose a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years imprisonment, a maximum of life imprisonment, and a fine of up to $250,000. The firearms sentence must be imposed consecutively to all other sentences, including those for drug distribution. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based on the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. Pending sentencing, the court continued the detention of David Best.
The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Economy Borough and Cranberry Township Police Departments conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution and conviction of David Best.