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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 16, 2018

2nd Lightfoot/Mendoza DTO Member Pleads Guilty: Acknowledges Responsibility for Trafficking Up to 50 Kilograms of Cocaine

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – A former resident of Pittsburgh, PA pleaded guilty in federal court to narcotics and firearm charges, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Monty Grinage, age 39, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon before United States District Judge Mark Hornak.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Grinage was a co-conspirator in one of the largest drug trafficking conspiracies in Western Pennsylvania history. Grinage conspired with multiple members of the indictment to import multiple kilograms of cocaine into Southwestern Pennsylvania. Grinage would then personally receive large kilogram amounts of cocaine and redistribute them by selling them to other co-conspirators. In total, Grinage acknowledged that he was responsible for up to 50 kilograms of cocaine. Additionally, Grinage pled guilty to possessing a 9mm handgun when investigators from the Drug Enforcement Agency executed a search warrant at his home on December 12, 2017.

Judge Hornak scheduled sentencing for December 14, 2018. The law provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison up to a maximum of life, a fine of $10,000,000 or both. Due to his prior record for drug trafficking offenses, Grinage will face increased penalties and be sentenced as a career offender. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior record, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Timothy M. Lanni is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation - The Monongahela Valley Residential Agency, the Drug Enforcement Agency – Pittsburgh Division and the Pennsylvania State Police, with assistance from the South Strabane Police Department, the Elizabeth Borough Police Department, the Penn Hills Police Department and the Perryopolis Police Department, conducted the investigation that led to the guilty plea in this case.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Updated August 16, 2018