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Press Release

Cleveland Resident Pleads Guilty to Committing Drug Trafficking and Firearm Crimes in Western Pennsylvania

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

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Cleveland, Ohio, pleaded guilty in federal court to drug trafficking and firearm crimes, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.

Justin Nichols, 30, pleaded guilty before United States Senior District Judge David Stewart Cercone to committing the following crimes on July 3, 2023: (1) possession with intent to distribute of 40 grams or more of a mixture containing fentanyl and heroin and of a quantity of cocaine at an address in Sharon, Pennsylvania; (2) possession with intent to distribute of 40 grams or more of fentanyl, of 100 grams or more of heroin, and of a quantity of cocaine at a second location in Sharon; and (3) possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for October 3, 2024. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than 10 years and up to life in prison, a fine of up to $5 million, or both. Under the federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Craig W. Haller is prosecuting this case on behalf of the United States.

The Mercer County Drug Task Force, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Nichols.

Updated May 30, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses