Former Employee of Allegheny County Drug Laboratory Charged with Stealing more than $78,000 in Drug Evidence
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been charged in federal court with stealing federal drug evidence from the Allegheny County Office of the Medical Examiner (ACOME), United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Matthew Ieraci, 29, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was charged by criminal Information with one count of theft concerning a program receiving federal benefits.
According to the Information, on multiple occasions between on or about February 8, 2017, and on or about February 27, 2017, Ieraci stole a total of approximately 52.45 grams of powder alprazolam, a Schedule IV controlled substance, from ACOME, where he was employed as a laboratory scientist. The information further alleges that Ieraci stole the evidence from a larger quantity of alprazolam that the United States Postal Inspection Service had submitted to ACOME for chemical analysis in connection with an ongoing multi-jurisdiction, multi-agency federal drug-trafficking investigation. According to the charging document, Ieraci, the scientist assigned to analyze the evidence on behalf of ACOME, had received training in proper evidence-handling techniques and was aware of the consequences of evidence tampering, including the possibility that such evidence would not be admissible at trial. The street value of the alprazolam Ieraci is alleged to have stolen was at least $78,675.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not more than 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorneys Eric G. Olshan and Rachael L. Dizard are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government. The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation of Ieraci.
A criminal Information is an accusation.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The filing of an Information generally indicates that the defendant intends to enter a guilty plea.