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Press Release

Career Offender Sentenced to Over 15 Years for Drug Trafficking

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

PITTSBURGH – On Monday, August 21, 2017, a resident of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, was sentenced in federal court to 188 months (15 years, 8 months) incarceration and four years supervised release on his conviction of violating the federal narcotic laws, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.

Senior United States District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose imposed the sentence on Edward Hicks, age 31.

According to information presented to the court, from in and around October 2012, and continuing thereafter to in and around November 2012, Hicks and others conspired to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute twenty-eight grams or more of crack cocaine. In addition, on November 6, 2012, and again on November 15, 2012, Hicks sold multiple ounces of crack cocaine to a confidential informant who was working with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Hicks has a prior state court felony drug-trafficking conviction, as well as a prior state court robbery conviction. As a result, he was classified as a “career offender” and subject to a much higher sentencing guidelines range.

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Ambrose rejected Hicks’ request for a downward departure and/or a variance from the career offender sentencing guidelines range, specifically noting that Hicks had served 8 years in jail for his prior convictions, and yet quickly returned to criminal conduct following his release from incarceration. Hicks was on state parole when he committed this federal offense.

Assistant United States Attorney Troy Rivetti prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

Acting United States Attorney Song commended the Drug Enforcement Administration and the West Homestead Police Department for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Hicks.

Updated August 23, 2017