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Press Release

Federal Inmate Pleads Guilty to Drug Distribution Conspiracy while in Prison

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

PITTSBURGH – Shamar Banks pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute Schedule I synthetic cannabinoid controlled substances while in prison between 2017 and 2019, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

Banks, age 41, formerly of York, Pennsylvania, pled guilty before United States District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan. Judge Ranjan scheduled sentencing to occur on June 16, 2022. Banks was serving a federal prison sentence for prior drug trafficking when he committed the additional drug trafficking crime to which he pled guilty.

The law provides for a sentence of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is to be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history of the defendant.

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

The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the federal Bureau of Prisons, and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General led the multi-agency investigation that also included the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Homeland Security/Homeland Security Investigations, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, the United States Marshals Service, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Munhall Police Department, the Robinson Township Police Department, the McKees Rocks Police Department, the Stowe Township Police Department, the Etna Police Department, and the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.

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 networks.

Updated February 17, 2022

Drug Trafficking