Former Pittsburgh Man Pleads Guilty in Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl Analogue
Airborne opioids during search warrant execution led to 18 SWAT members being taken to hospital
PITTSBURGH, PA - A former resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute an analogue of fentanyl, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Anthony Lozito, age 40, pleaded guilty to two counts before Senior United States District Court Judge David S. Cercone.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from May 2017 to August 2017, Lozito conspired with others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cyclopropyl fentanyl, an analogue of fentanyl. Lynell Guyton purchased large quantities of fentanyl analogues from overseas purveyors, which he distributed in Western Pennsylvania. On August 9, 2017, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Lozito’s residence on Bond Street. Guyton was found on the first floor along with Lozito and two other individuals. Large amounts of narcotics and packaging paraphernalia were present in the house. A table with powder narcotics was overturned during the initial SWAT entry into the home, causing large amounts of opioids to become airborne. SWAT officers exposed to the airborne narcotics were sent to Mercy for evaluation–everyone was medically cleared and no one was harmed. Law enforcement also executed a search warrant on Lakewood Avenue and found another individual and opioids at the residence. A total of 235 grams of cyclopropyl fentanyl was recovered from both residences. Lozito admitted to allowing Guyton to use his home to package narcotics in exchange for the anticipated receipt of opioids.
Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for January 21, 2020. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than five years and up to life 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 Lozito to remain detained.
Assistant United States Attorney Shanicka L. Kennedy is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE)/Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), assisted by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, including the Pittsburgh Police SWAT Team, conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.