Federal Jury Convicts Former Wilkinsburg Man on All Counts of Running a Fentanyl Trafficking Conspiracy and Possessing Multiple Firearms
PITTSBURGH – After deliberating approximately two hours, a federal jury found Cameron Basking guilty of four counts stemming from an FBI investigation that culminated in seven search warrants in Allegheny County and the seizure of a large quantity of fentanyl, multiple firearms and ammunition, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Basking, age 28, of Wilkinsburg, Pa., was tried before United States Judge Marilyn S. Horan. He was convicted after a week-long trial of one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl, possession with the intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon.
According to information presented during the course of the trial, Cameron Basking was part of a large-scale fentanyl trafficking conspiracy operating in Allegheny County from January to March 14 of 2018. Basking would receive large amounts of fentanyl from two co-conspirator suppliers and then mix that fentanyl for future resale. To further this conspiracy, Basking used multiple locations in Allegheny County to cut and mix the fentanyl, store the fentanyl, and sell the fentanyl.
As part of the investigation, on March 14, 2018, members of the FBI’s Western Pennsylvania Opioid Task Force executed search warrants at multiple locations and vehicles tied to Basking. At an address on Princeton Boulevard in Wilkinsburg, investigators recovered tens of thousands of stamp bags used to package fentanyl in the basement of this location as well as ammunition. At an address on West Carter in North Versailles, investigators recovered voluminous drug and drug-related evidence, including over 40 grams of fentanyl, thousands of stamp bags, blenders and grinders, and gas masks to protect from fentanyl exposure. Additionally at the West Carter address, investigators recovered a fully-loaded 9mm Glock handgun, a fully-loaded Bushmaster .308 assault rifle, two extended 9mm magazines, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. At another location in Wilkinsburg, on Rebecca Street, investigators recovered another firearm and ammunition, a quantity of fentanyl, six digital scales for drug distribution use and fentanyl packaging material.
Evidence presented at trial showed that Basking used the West Carter location to store the fentanyl, the Princeton Boulevard location to cut and mix the fentanyl for distribution, and the Rebecca Street location as the distribution center.
Judge Horan scheduled sentencing for February 10, 2020. Basking faces a maximum total sentence of not less than 10 years and up to life 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 of the defendant. Indicate relevant bond/detention information if known
Assistant United States Attorneys Timothy M. Lanni and Christopher Cook represented the Government in this prosecution and trial.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation – Western District of Pennsylvania Opioid Task Force conducted the investigation leading to the conviction in this case. This Task Force is comprised of FBI Special Agents and state and local Task Force Officers, including officers from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Allegheny County Sherriff’s Department, Allegheny County Police, Port Authority Police, Munhall Police Department, West Mifflin Police Department, and Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. The Allegheny Office of the Medical Examiner, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Narcotics and Vice Division, and the Drug Enforcement Agency also assisted in the prosecution of this case.