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Justice News

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Beaver Falls Man Pleads Guilty in Fentanyl Trafficking Conspiracy

PITTSBURGH, PA – A Beaver County resident pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Rance Vaughn, age 22, of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Mark R. Hornak.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that in 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies joined forces in a multi-agency wiretap investigation of drug trafficking, including fentanyl trafficking, in various areas of Western Pennsylvania. The interception of wire and electronic communications began in March 2017, and Rance Vaughn was intercepted over the wire conspiring with others to possess with intent to distribute and distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl.

Judge Hornak scheduled sentencing for August 16, 2018, at 9:30 a.m. The law provides for a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, a fine of $5,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorneys Tonya Sulia Goodman and Caitlin A. Loughran are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

This prosecution is part of a long-term investigation by the FBI Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force, which targeted a large scale Drug Trafficking Organization operating in Butler, Beaver and Allegheny Counties. The FBI, Wilkinsburg Police Department, Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigations, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Allegheny County Police Department, and Pittsburgh Bureau of Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Vaughn.

Drug Trafficking
Updated April 17, 2018