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Press Release

Federal Inmate Sentenced for Conspiring to Launder Drug Trafficking Proceeds

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

PITTSBURGH – Donnell Steward was sentenced to 24 months in prison for conspiring to launder drug trafficking proceeds between 2017 and 2019, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Steward, age 51, was sentenced by United States District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan. Judge Ranjan directed that the prison sentence be served consecutively to the prison sentence Steward was serving at the time of the crime. Judge Ranjan also directed that Steward serve one year of supervised release following his prison sentence.

Steward was incarcerated at the federal prison at Otisville, New York, when he conspired to launder the proceeds of his distribution of Schedule I synthetic cannabinoid controlled substances. Such substances have caused severe illness and deaths throughout the United States in recent years. Steward was incarcerated as a result of several prior convictions in the District of Columbia for assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, and armed robbery.

Assistant United States Attorney Craig W. Haller prosecuted 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 Police Department, 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 case is part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program, known as OCDETF. OCDETF was established in 1982 to support comprehensive investigations and prosecutions of major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. It is the keystone of the drug reduction strategy of the Department of Justice. By combining the resources and expertise of federal agencies and their state and local law enforcement partners, OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the most serious drug trafficking, money laundering, and transnational criminal organizations.

Updated August 27, 2020

Drug Trafficking