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Press Release

Former Duquesne Resident Maintained a Drug House where Police Found Multiple Drugs, Cash, and Packaging Materials

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

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A former resident of Duquesne, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of maintaining a drug premises, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Ericka Smith, age 40, pleaded guilty to one count before Senior United States District Court Judge David Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on May 10, 2018, when parole agents went to the home of Ericka Smith, the lessee of the residence, and parolee Donte Taylor for a routine visit, they smelled marijuana. Taylor tested positive for marijuana and cocaine. Smith appeared to be extremely nervous. Police responded and Smith advised that there was a small amount of marijuana in the house and gave consent to search. Officers recovered crack cocaine, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and marijuana. They also recovered $14,466.00 in a safe, scales and other drug packaging materials. While speaking with agents, Smith stated that she would take the charges because Taylor needed to be home with the kids. She also inquired about what penalty she would face if she said the drugs recovered belonged to her.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for May 21, 2020. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of $500,000, 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.

Pending sentencing, the court ordered that Smith remain detained.

Assistant United States Attorney Shanicka L. Kennedy is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

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

Updated January 16, 2020

Drug Trafficking