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Press Release

Second Leader of North Philadelphia Drug Gang Sentenced to Twelve Years in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Brandon Smith, 30, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to twelve years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, by United States District Court Judge C. Darnell Jones.

In November 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty to multiple criminal counts, including conspiracy to distribute and attempted possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. The charges arose from his leadership role in a large drug trafficking organization that shipped hundreds of pounds of narcotics -- including methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl -- from California to Philadelphia via United States mail, from at least early 2016 until November 2017.

To obtain the narcotics, Smith and other members of the organization flew from Philadelphia to Los Angeles to purchase the drugs directly from a source in California, concealing large amounts of cash between clothing packed in their carry-on luggage. After purchasing the drugs, members of the organization shipped the narcotics in boxes addressed to businesses in the Feltonville neighborhood of North Philadelphia, and then coordinated the delivery of the drugs to various locations, so they could then be prepared for distribution.

Another leader of the drug trafficking group and a co-defendant in this case, George Felts, 33, also of Philadelphia, was previously sentenced to sixteen years in prison for similar charges.

“Smith and other members of this drug gang pumped huge quantities of deadly drugs into our community,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “The punishment handed down today cannot undo the damage that Smith caused, but his conviction and lengthy sentence have made Philadelphia safer. My Office is committed to aggressively investigating and prosecuting drug trafficking organizations that prey on the community.”

“Today, another defendant was sentenced to more than a decade in jail for his participation in the organized distribution of illegal and dangerous narcotics in Philadelphia neighborhoods,” said Damon Wood, Postal Inspector in Charge of the Philadelphia Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service. “I again would like to thank and congratulate the officers from the Philadelphia Police Department, the agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office, and the Postal Inspectors from the Philadelphia Division who worked tirelessly on this case to protect the US mail system from criminal misuse and to ensure Mr. Smith faced justice for the harm he has caused to the Philadelphia community.”

The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, with the assistance of the Philadelphia Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nancy Beam Winter.


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Philadelphia, PA 19106

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Updated July 14, 2020

Drug Trafficking