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Justice News

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Donora Man Pleads Guilty as part of Lightfoot/Mendoza Drug Trafficking Organization

PITTSBURGH, Pa – A resident of Donora, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a narcotics charge, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Michael Tirpak, age 33, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distributing cocaine before United States District Judge Mark Hornak.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from March 2017 to December 2017, Brandon Thomas, a mid-level distributor in the Lightfoot/Mendoza DTO, would receive large quantities of cocaine from Jamie Lightfoot, Jr. before redistributing the cocaine to Tirpak and other co-conspirators. Tirpak would travel to and from Thomas’ house in order to purchase the cocaine.

Judge Hornak scheduled sentencing for January 22, 2019. The law provides for a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior record, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Timothy M. Lanni is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation - The Monongahela Valley Residential Agency, and the Pennsylvania State Police, with assistance from the South Strabane Police Department, the Elizabeth Borough Police Department, the Penn Hills Police Department and the Perryopolis Police Department, conducted the investigation that led to the guilty plea in this case.

Drug Trafficking
Updated October 23, 2018