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Press Release

Fentanyl Trafficker Who Attempted to Retaliate Against and Intimidate Witnesses Sentenced to More Than 24 Years in Federal Prison

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

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A former resident of Verona, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to 293 months of imprisonment and 10 years of supervised release following his conviction for conspiracy to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.

United States District Judge Marilyn J. Horan imposed the sentence on Jamal Knox, 29.

Knox was sentenced today following his conviction at trial in December 2022. Evidence introduced at trial established that, from approximately September 2017 to November 2019, Knox supplied fentanyl to large-scale drug traffickers who referred to themselves as Hustlas Don’t Sleep. During the conspiracy, Knox possessed multiple firearms, including an AR-15-style assault rifle and various handguns. Execution of a search warrant at his home revealed $50,000 in cash and various items used in large-scale fentanyl trafficking. In connection with Knox’s sentencing, Judge Horan determined that the defendant orchestrated a campaign of intimidation directed at cooperating witnesses called to testify by the government. Specifically, during the testimony of these witnesses, multiple known associates of Knox would enter the courtroom and sit in the public gallery, leaving when the testimony ended. The Court also determined that following his trial, and while he was detained pending sentencing, Knox attempted to have other non-incarcerated individuals retaliate against various trial witnesses.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Horan emphasized the seriousness of Knox’s criminal conduct and his significant criminal history, along with his attempts to intimidate and retaliate against trial witnesses, as reasons for the sentence.

“Jamal Knox was a central player in the large-scale fentanyl trafficking associated with the Hustlas Don’t Sleep street gang,” said U.S. Attorney Olshan. “Today’s significant sentence reflects the egregiousness of Knox’s conduct, his refusal to leave the deadly drug trade behind after multiple prior convictions, and his blatant efforts to silence those who would expose the extent of his criminal conduct—including while they testified in a federal courtroom. This office and our dedicated law enforcement partners will leave no stone unturned in our joint work to rid our communities of deadly narcotics and keep our neighbors safe.”

Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Olshan commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Allegheny County Police Department, Monroeville Police Department, and Penn Hills Police Department for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Knox.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using 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 22, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses