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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 24, 2021

DS44 Gang Member Sentenced for Conspiring to Distribute Fentanyl and Heroin

PITTSBURGH - A resident of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to 46 months’ imprisonment and three years’ supervised release on his conviction of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of fentanyl and heroin, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

United States District Judge William S. Stickman, IV, imposed the sentence on Lamont Benton, age 24,.  

According to information presented to the court, in 2017, the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force initiated an investigation primarily targeting the Darccide/Smash 44, or DS44, neighborhood gang, and its drug-trafficking activity, in and around the South Side area of Pittsburgh. As part of this large-scale narcotics and firearms investigation, in February of 2019, the United States received authorization to conduct a federal wire investigation, which continued through June of 2019.

Benton was identified through wire interceptions as a member of DS44 and a mid-level distributor, and in connection with his guilty plea, he accepted responsibility for distributing 39 grams of a mixture containing fentanyl and heroin. Mr. Benton is one of 40 defendants charged in the case.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Stickman noted that Benton was serving three other sentences imposed in state court when he participated in the drug trafficking activity to which he had pleaded guilty. The court further highlighted that Benton had amassed a significant criminal history at age 24, and that, along with his otherwise positive qualities, were factors in the sentence he imposed.

Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch and Brendan J. McKenna prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the multi-agency investigation of this case, which also included the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Allegheny County Adult Probation, Allegheny County Police Department, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office Bureau of Narcotics, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and the Wilkinsburg Police Department. Other assisting agencies include the Green Tree Police Department, New York City Police Department, Mount Oliver Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Yonkers Police Department, United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

This prosecution is a result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles high-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten communities throughout the United States. OCDETF uses a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal network.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated February 24, 2021