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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 19, 2020

22 Western PA Residents Indicted on Drug and Firearms Charges Associated with Violent South Pittsburgh Gang, Darccide-Smash44

PITTSBURGH, PA – Twenty-two current and former residents of Western Pennsylvania have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of narcotics trafficking and firearms violations following an investigation into drug trafficking and violence in and around the South Side neighborhood of Pittsburgh, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

"The drug and gun crime activity associated with local gangs threatens the safety of our law-abiding neighbors," said U.S. Attorney Brady. "My office will continue to make the identification and prosecution of these neighborhood thugs a priority until our communities are gang-free."

The Superseding Indictment, returned on June 15 and unsealed yesterday, names the following 22 individuals as defendants:

• Christopher Highsmith, 27, of Irwin, PA

• David Benson, 30, of Pittsburgh, PA

• Lamont Benton, 24, of McKees Rocks, PA

• Jarrell Dawson, 21, of Pittsburgh, PA

• Perry Freeman, 19, of Pittsburgh, PA

• Lequay Fuller, 23, of Pittsburgh, PA

• Dontae Gilbert, 19, of Pittsburgh, PA

• Brandon Green, 35, Pittsburgh, PA

• Anthony Jetter, 31, of Pittsburgh, PA

• Henry Johnson, 29, of Pittsburgh, PA

• Jonathan Laur, 26, of Pittsburgh, PA

• Trevon McCrary, 25, of Pittsburgh, PA

• Danasia McNeal, 22, of Pittsburgh, PA

• Willie Miller, 28, of Pittsburgh, PA

• Michael Norman, 27, of Venetia, PA

• Devonte Parker, 25, of Pittsburgh, PA

• Jaimone Robinson, 20, of Pittsburgh, PA

• Ronika Somerville, 23, of Pittsburgh, PA

• Theresa Somerville, 50, of Pittsburgh, PA

• Raelynn Stevenson, 30, of West Mifflin, PA

• Ronald Williams, 27, of Pittsburgh, PA

• Martel Yates, 31, of Pittsburgh, PA

The named conspirators include leaders, members, drug suppliers, and associates of a violent neighborhood gang known as Darccide-Smash44 ("DS44"), based out of the Knoxville, Arlington, and Mt. Oliver neighborhoods in the South Side. According to the Superseding Indictment, the defendants conspired to possess with intent to distribute and distribute over one kilogram of heroin, at least 400 grams of fentanyl, as well as quantities of several fentanyl analogs, cocaine, and cocaine base, commonly known as crack, from January 2018 through June 2019. The Superseding Indictment further alleges individual firearms charges and/or drug trafficking violations against defendants Benson, Gilbert, McCrary, Miller, Parker, Robinson, and Stevenson.

For all defendants, the law provides for a maximum total sentence of up to life imprisonment, a fine of not more than $10,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of each defendant.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the multi-agency investigation of this case, which also included the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Allegheny County Adult Probation, Allegheny County Police Department, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office Bureau of Narcotics, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and the Wilkinsburg Police Department. Other assisting agencies include the Green Tree Police Department, New York City Police Department, Mount Oliver Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Yonkers Police Department, United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

This case is part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program, known as OCDETF. OCDETF was established in 1982 to support comprehensive investigations and prosecutions of major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. It is the keystone of the drug reduction strategy of the Department of Justice. By combining the resources and expertise of federal agencies and their state and local law enforcement partners, OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the most serious drug trafficking, money laundering, and transnational criminal organizations.

Assistant United States Attorneys Christy C. Wiegand and Brendan McKenna are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Updated June 19, 2020