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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 12, 2019

7 Charged in Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy

PITTSBURGH - Seven residents of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on a charge of violating federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The one-count Indictment, returned on December 10 and unsealed today, named:

Martise Smith, 27, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;

Lamont Goodwine, Jr., 31, of Carrick, Pennsylvania;

Raymond Jones, 33, of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania;

Robert Howard, 33, of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania;

David Joyner, 24, of McKeesport, Pennsylvania;

Duane Henderson, 30, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and

Mbuitidem Essiet, 23, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

According to Indictment, from in and around June of 2019, and continuing thereafter to in and around December of 2019, the defendants conspired with each other to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than 10 years to a maximum of life in prison, a fine not to exceed $10,000,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant

Assistant United States Attorney Mark V. Gurzo is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

A federally administered Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case. The task force is headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is comprised of members drawn from Homeland Security Investigations, the Allegheny County Police Department, the Stowe Township Police Department, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, the Office of the Attorney General, the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office, the North Versailles Police Department, the Allegheny County Port Authority Police Department, the Munhall Police Department, and the Pennsylvania State Police. The OCDETF program supplies critical federal funding and coordination that allows federal and state agencies to work together to successfully identify, investigate, and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises.

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

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated December 12, 2019