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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Former Pittsburgh Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Deliver Large Quantity of Heroin to Undercover FBI Agents

PITTSBURGH - A former resident of Pittsburgh, PA, has plead guilty to federal narcotics charges, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Mark Ridley, age 28, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distribute heroin and one count of possession with the intent to distribute heroin in front of United States District Court Judge Mark R. Hornak.

According to information presented to the court, on April 25, 2017, Ridley conspired with others to transport a large quantity of heroin to the Hazlewood section of Pittsburgh. Ridley believed that he was transporting the heroin to sell to a drug customer. However, Ridley was actually communicating with two FBI agents acting in an undercover capacity. FBI recovered a large quantity of heroin in a secret compartment of the passenger door after Ridley arrived to a location driven in a car by co-defendant Leonard Rushin-Felder, who has previously pleaded guilty in this case. After arresting Ridley, FBI agents recovered three cell phones from Ridley including the phone undercover agents were in contact with.

The law provides for a sentence of not more 30 years in prison and/or a fine of not more than $2,000,000. 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.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation – Western District of Pennsylvania Opioid Task Force conducted the investigation leading to the guilty plea in this case. This Task Force is comprised of FBI Special Agents and state and local Task Force Officers, including officers from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Allegheny County Sherriff’s Department, Allegheny County Police, Port Authority Police, Munhall Police Department, Stowe Rox Police Department, West Mifflin Police Department, and Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.

Assistant United States Attorneys Timothy M. Lanni and Shaun Sweeney are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated December 18, 2019