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Press Release

Drug Rehab Counselor and Two Others Charged in Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy

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

PITTSBURGH - A drug rehab counselor from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, has been charged by a federal grand jury in a superseding indictment with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin; distribution of heroin and fentanyl resulting in serious bodily injury; distribution of fentanyl; and possession with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl. Also charged in the conspiracy count are two residents of New York, NY.

The six-count superseding indictment, returned under seal on February 28, named David Francis, 66, described in a previously filed criminal complaint as the operator of Next Step Recovery Housing in McKees Rocks. The superseding indictment also named William Rosario, 23, and Jose Ortega, 31, both of New York City.

According to the superseding indictment, from in and around November 2016 through in and around February 2017, Francis, Rosario, and Ortega conspired to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. The superseding indictment further alleges that on or about June 23, 2017, Francis distributed heroin which caused serious bodily injury to a user of the heroin. On or about September 18, 2017, Francis also distributed fentanyl which caused serious bodily injury to users of the fentanyl. The superseding indictment also alleges that on or about September 21, 2017, Francis distributed a quantity of fentanyl, and on or about October 6, 2017, Francis possessed with intent to distribute quantities of heroin and fentanyl.

With respect to the charges against David Francis, the law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than 20 years in prison and up to life, a fine of $5,000,000, or both. For William Rosario and Jose Ortega, the law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than five years and up to 40 years in prison, a fine of $5,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Tonya Sulia Goodman is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, Monroeville Police Department, Stowe Township Police Department, Ingram Borough Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, and Monaca Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the superseding indictment in this case.

A superseding indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated March 7, 2018

Drug Trafficking