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Press Release

Dominican Republic Resident Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Traffic Cocaine

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

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – A citizen of the Dominican Republic pleaded guilty in federal court to a drug trafficking charge, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.

Adelin Hernandez Amparo, 31, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge William S. Stickman IV to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.

In connection with the guilty plea, the Court was advised that federal, state, and local law enforcement operating under the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program in Beaver County conducted a joint investigation into the Kijana Lowe drug trafficking organization. On November 8, 2021, law enforcement conducted a surveillance operation at the Greyhound Bus Station in downtown Pittsburgh, and observed Hernandez Amparo and another individual exit the bus station with two suitcases and get into a vehicle driven by a co-defendant. Mobile surveillance followed the vehicle to a motel in Coraopolis.

Surveillance observed Lowe enter the motel room occupied by Hernandez Amparo and the two co-defendants, and then back outside, accept one of the suitcases transported from the bus station. Law enforcement detained the individuals and executed search warrants on the suitcase, the motel room, and Lowe’s vehicle. The suitcase contained nearly 10 kilograms of cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance. Lowe’s vehicle contained over $280,000 that was to be used to purchase the seized cocaine. A search of cell phones revealed text messages from Lowe in which Lowe complained about having to pay three people for the drug re-supply, referring to Hernandez Amparo and his associates.

Judge Stickman scheduled sentencing for October 16, 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 $10 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.

Pending sentencing, the Court remanded Hernandez Amparo to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Assistant United States Attorney Brendan J. McKenna and Special Assistant United States Attorney Kara Cotter are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General and Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Hernandez Amparo.

Updated June 14, 2024

Drug Trafficking