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Justice News

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

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Former Philadelphia Resident Pleads Guilty to Three Drug Counts

PITTSBURGH, PA - A former resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating the federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Mark Carter, 33, pleaded guilty to three counts before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that in June 2016, Pennsylvania State Police arranged for a confidential informant to buy crack and heroin from Mark Carter. Carter arranged for Brandon Morris to meet the CI. In exchange for $2,000 in pre-recorded funds, Morris gave the CI three bricks of heroin and one-half of an ounce of crack. On June 27, 2016, the CI purchased heroin and crack from Carter using $2,150 in pre-recorded funds.

On June 28, 2016, troopers executed a search warrant on Morris’ residence located on E. Brady St. in Butler, PA. In the bedroom where Carter was found, troopers recovered a plastic bag containing 39.57g of raw heroin, a plastic bag containing 119.36g of crack cocaine, individual packets of heroin, $7,612.00, including $4,150 pre-recorded funds, and various items of drug paraphernalia.

On July 21, 2016, the CI arranged to buy drugs from Carter. Carter asked the CI to pick up Janell Hunter from the Greyhound Bus Station and to get her a hotel room in Butler. Carter arrived from Philadelphia a short time later. A search warrant on the hotel room revealed a bag containing 80.58g of crack cocaine, 38.83g heroin, and drug paraphernalia.

Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing for June 23, 2020. The law provides for a maximum sentence of not less than five years and up to 40 years in prison, a fine of $5,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court ordered that Carter remain detained.

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

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation leading to the prosecution of Carter.

Drug Trafficking
Updated February 6, 2020