Former Duquesne Man Served as a Drug Runner for the SCO Gang
PITTSBURGH, PA- A former resident of Duquesne, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge related to drug trafficking, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Keenan Williams, 21, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute a quantity of heroin at Count One of the Indictment, before United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force conducted a long-term investigation of drug trafficking occurring in and around the Braddock section of Pittsburgh. Williams and other individuals, were identified as members or associates of a neighborhood based street gang, self-titled "SCO", which illegally distributed controlled substances in the Greater Pittsburgh region. In January of 2019, investigators obtained authorization to conduct a federal wire investigation, which continued through May of 2019. Intercepted communications over the phone of Williams’ co-defendant and brother, Richard Coto-Wheat, confirmed that Williams served as a drug runner for the conspiracy, distributing controlled substances in the North Versailles and Braddock neighborhoods.
Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for May 20, 2020, at 10:00 AM. The law provides for a maximum sentence of not more than 30 years in prison, a fine of not more than $2,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. Williams remains in custody pending the sentencing hearing.
Assistant United States Attorney Rebecca L. Silinski is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the multi-agency investigation of this case, which also included the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Allegheny County Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office Bureau of Narcotics, and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. Other assisting agencies include the Monroeville Police Department, Penn Hills Police Department, Wilkinsburg Police Department, and Allegheny County Adult Probation.
The investigation was funded by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF). The OCDETF program supplies critical federal funding and coordination that allows federal and state agencies to work together to successfully identify, investigate, and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises.