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Justice News

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

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Heroin Dealer Goes to Federal Prison

PITTSBURGH - On August 5, 2015, a Pittsburgh resident was sentenced in federal court to 50 months in prison followed by multiple years of supervision by the United States Probation Office as a result of his conviction of violating federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Mark R. Hornak imposed the sentence on Germal McCray, age 40. In sentencing a defendant, federal law requires the court to first examine the extent of McCray’s criminal history as well as the seriousness of his crimes in order to determine an advisory guideline range. The court must consider this non-mandatory guideline range in order to avoid unwarranted sentencing disparities between similarly situated defendants, but the law permits the court to consider a wide range of factors in determining the ultimate sentence appropriate to a specific defendant. In this matter, Judge Hornak found McCray’s advisory guideline range to be 57 to 71 months of incarceration and then provided the defendant with a small variance from the guidelines as a result of his difficult childhood and other mitigating factors in order to reach the 50-month sentence. Judge Hornak emphasized the serious effect heroin dealing has on the entire community and stated that spending more than four years in federal prison was sufficient but not greater than necessary since McCray’s previous convictions occurred more than 10 years ago.

According to information presented to the court, multiple federal, state and local law enforcement officers worked together in an effort to investigate heroin activities in Pittsburgh. These efforts culminated in police catching McCray and others actively engaged in the process of packaging heroin for later sale to heroin users. Law enforcement officers also seized the drug money and other drug-related items located as a result of the investigation. The forfeiture of these items will preclude their later use by other drug dealers and makes criminals help pay for the investigation of other drug crimes. McCray was handcuffed in the courtroom at the conclusion of the sentencing hearing and taken into custody by Deputy United States Marshals, in order to begin his sentence.

Assistant United States Attorney Ross E. Lenhardt prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton specifically commended the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police for their part in the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Germal McCray and his associates.

Updated August 7, 2015