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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 21, 2018

3 Pittsburgh Residents Indicted on Drug and Gun Charges

PITTSBURGH - Three residents of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of violating federal narcotics and firearms laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The six-count Indictment, returned on Dec. 12 and unsealed Dec. 19. named Daniel Espy, 34, Vincent Daniele, 36, and Brittany Zietak, 28, as defendants.

According to the Indictment, from on or about November 1, 2016, and continuing thereafter to on or about April 4, 2017, Espy, Daniele and Zietak conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance, a quantity of furanyl fentanyl, a Schedule I controlled substance, and a quantity of fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance. Additionally, on or about March 3, 2017, Espy possessed with the intent to distribute quantities of heroin, furanyl fentanyl and fentanyl. On or about April 4, 2017, Daniele and Espy possessed with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin. Also on April 4, 2017, Daniele maintained a drug involved premises. The indictment further charges Daniele with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, as well as possessing said firearm in furtherance of the drug trafficking crime on April 4, 2017. Federal law prohibits anyone who has been convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year to possess a firearm

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than five years to a maximum of 40 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $5,000,000, or both for Espy and Zietak. For Daniele, the law provides for not less than 10 years to a maximum of 40 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $5,250,000 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 the defendants.

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

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated December 21, 2018