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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

Friday, August 3, 2018

Final Defendant in Large-Scale Heroin Trafficking Ring Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison

PITTSBURGH, PA – A former resident of Duquesne, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to 120 months on his conviction of conspiracy to distribute heroin, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

United States District Judge Reggie B. Walton imposed the sentence on Lance Yarbough, 33.

According to information presented to the court, Yarbough participated in a large-scale heroin distribution operation centered in Duquesne, Pennsylvania. Yarbough’s sentencing is the culmination of an investigation that began in 2010 and resulted in the convictions of 19 individuals for heroin distribution and firearms charges, most of whom are from Duquesne. The core of the group called themselves Hardcore Entertainment, and some of the members of the conspiracy recorded music and video under that name, as well. Some videos, which they posted on YouTube, included members of the conspiracy bragging about their drug dealing activities.

Members of Hardcore Entertainment typically pooled their resources and obtained large quantities of heroin from New Jersey and New York. They often transported the heroin and money in vehicles with hidden compartments. Once the heroin reached the Pittsburgh area, members of the conspiracy split the heroin and sold it to other distributors in the Pittsburgh area. During portions of the conspiracy, co-conspirators were making weekly trips between New Jersey or New York and the Pittsburgh area transporting hundreds of thousands of dollars and multiple kilograms of heroin per month. The conspiracy lasted from at least 2008 until 2012. The evidence presented at trial included controlled purchases of heroin, evidence seized pursuant to search warrants, communications among the conspirators intercepted pursuant to Court authorization, and the seizure of heroin from the hidden compartment of one of the vehicles used to transports money and heroin between New Jersey and the Pittsburgh area.

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

United States Attorney Brady commended the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force consisting of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Allegheny County Sheriff's Office, Wilkinsburg Police Department, Allegheny County Police Dept., Oakdale Police Dept, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the Duquesne Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police, for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Yarbough.

Drug Trafficking
Updated August 6, 2018