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Press Release

Federal Jury Finds Duquesne Man Guilty of Drug Law Violation

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

PITTSBURGH - After deliberating for two hours, a federal jury found Donte Taylor guilty of one count of violating the federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Taylor, 37, formerly of Duquesne, was tried before Senior United States District Judge David S. Cercone in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Shanicka L. Kennedy, who prosecuted the case, the evidence presented at trial established that on May 10, 2018, Donte Taylor was on parole. When parole agents went to his house for a routine visit, they smelled marijuana. Agents tested Taylor, and he tested positive for marijuana and cocaine. He also had $540.00 on his person. Parole agents noticed that his girlfriend, Ericka Smith, appeared to be extremely nervous. Parole agents then contacted the local police.

When the police responded, Smith advised that there was a small amount of marijuana in the house and gave verbal and written consent to search. Smith provided a conflicting statement about Taylor’s drug trafficking activities. Smith admitted that it was her house and that it was Taylor’s approved residence with parole.

Officers recovered approximately 279 grams of crack cocaine with a street value of $22,000 to $28,000. They also discovered cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and marijuana, as well as $14,466.00 in a safe, scales and other drug packaging materials.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for June 5, 2020. The law provides for a total sentence of not less 10 years in prison and up to life, a fine not to exceed $8,000,000.00, a term of supervised release of at least eight years, or a combination thereof. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based on the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court ordered Taylor to remain in custody.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the City of Duquesne Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Donte Taylor.

Updated January 31, 2020

Drug Trafficking