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Press Release

Aliquippa Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Heroin/Fentanyl that Caused a Death

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

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of distribution of a substance containing, heroin, fentanyl, and acetyl fentanyl, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

Zachary Martin Cymbalak, age 35, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge William J. Stickman.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on Jan. 6, 2019, law enforcement officers found a deceased individual under circumstances suggesting that the death was caused by an overdose, which was later confirmed by the Beaver County Coroner’s Office. At the location of the death, law enforcement officers found drug paraphernalia and distinctive empty stamp bags. Based on telephone records and other investigative techniques, law enforcement identified Cymbalak as the likely source of supply of the drugs that caused the death.

Later on Jan. 6, 2019, law enforcement arranged for a confidential informant to purchase controlled substances from the defendant. The stamp bags were the same distinctive stamp bags found at the scene of the death. After the purchase, law enforcement stopped the vehicle in which Cymbalak was a passenger and recovered more of the distinctive stamps bags and the money used in the purchase. Laboratory tests confirmed that the stamp bags purchased from Cymbalak and recovered from Cymbalak’s person contained a combination of heroin, fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl. As part of the plea agreement Cymbalak took responsibility for causing the death of the decedent.

Judge Stickman scheduled sentencing for Jan. 18, 2023. The law provides for a total sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a fine of $1 million, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, along with the Baden and Harmony Township Police Departments, the Beaver County Coroner’s Office, and the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office Anti-Drug Task Force, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Cymbalak.

Updated August 30, 2022

Drug Trafficking