Former Pittsburgh Resident Pleads Guilty to Heroin Trafficking as Part of Braddock Wiretap Investigation
PITTSBURGH - A former resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of narcotics trafficking, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Travis Moore, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin before United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force conducted a long-term investigation of drug trafficking occurring in and around the Braddock section of Pittsburgh. Moore, and other individuals, were identified as members or associates of a neighborhood based street gang, self-titled "SCO", which illegally distributed controlled substances in the Greater Pittsburgh region. In January of 2019, investigators obtained authorization to conduct a federal wire investigation, which continued through May of 2019. Intercepted communications confirmed that Moore was an associate of co-defendant, Howard McFadden, and was as one of McFadden’s sources of supply for heroin. The court was further informed that on at least one occasion, in conjunction with intercepted communications, the defendant was observed via pole camera footage at a trap house location on Seddon Avenue in Braddock, PA, which was owned by McFadden and used by members of the conspiracy. As a result of today’s guilty plea, Moore has accepted responsibility for the distribution of at least 100 but less than 400 grams of heroin.
Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for May 19, 2020, at 11:00 AM. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than 5 years, but not more than 40 years in prison, a fine of not more than $5,000,000, 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. Moore remains incarcerated pending sentencing.
Assistant United States Attorney Rebecca L. Silinski is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the multi-agency investigation of this case, which also included the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Allegheny County Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office Bureau of Narcotics, and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. Other assisting agencies include the Monroeville Police Department, Penn Hills Police Department, Wilkinsburg Police Department, and Allegheny County Adult Probation.
The investigation was funded by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF). The OCDETF program supplies critical federal funding and coordination that allows federal and state agencies to work together to successfully identify, investigate, and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises.