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Justice News

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

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Judge Sentences Southwest PA Man To 15 Years In Prison For Violating Federal Drug, Gun And Money Laundering Laws

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Arnold and Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to 180 months (15 years) imprisonment followed by five years supervised release on his conviction of violating federal narcotics, firearms and money laundering laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge David S. Cercone imposed the sentence on Omali P. McKay, 29, a citizen of Trinidad who formerly resided in Lower Burrell, Pa., and in Arnold, Pa.

Last year, McKay was sentenced to 15 to 30 years’ imprisonment following his conviction in the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, for sexually abusing a child. Today, Judge Cercone ordered that 120 months (10 years) of the 180-month federal sentence must be served consecutively to McKay’s sentence in Westmoreland County, while the remaining 60 months of the sentence would run concurrently.

According to information previously presented to the court, McKay conspired with others from 2006 to Aug. 25, 2012, to distribute five to 15 kilograms of cocaine and 280 to 840 grams of crack cocaine. McKay obtained kilogram quantities of cocaine from out-of-state sources of supply and then cooked much of that cocaine into crack. He then sold cocaine and crack in small quantities to street-level distributors and drug users in order to maximize his profits.

Also, McKay admitted possessing with intent to distribute one kilogram of cocaine seized from his Lower Burrell residence on Aug. 25, 2012, while simultaneously possessing an assault rifle in furtherance of the drug crime. Specifically, on Aug. 25, 2012, search warrants were conducted at McKay's residences. In the master bedroom closet of the Lower Burrell residence, officers discovered more than one kilogram of cocaine, an assault rifle, approximately 3,000 rounds of ammunition, two ballistic vests, and $272,000 in cash hidden in a bag containing McKay's identification cards. Seized from the garage were a 2004 Mercedes Benz and a 2004 Lexus.

Finally, McKay admitted to conspiring with three others to launder his drug trafficking proceeds. He used those laundered funds to purchase the Lower Burrell residence for $243,000 in cash in August 2011. Specifically, between May and July 2011, McKay repeatedly provided sums of cash to three individuals who then deposited the cash into their respective bank accounts and wrote checks back to McKay. Some of checks were written to make them appear to be payments for services rendered from McKay's non-existent lawn care business. In total, $243,500 was laundered in this manner in a little more than a month and a half.

The Mercedes Benz, the Lexus, the $272,000 in cash, and the residence in Lower Burrell will be forfeited since they were proceeds of McKay’s drug trafficking activities.

Assistant United States Attorney Charles A. Eberle prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Pennsylvania State Police, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division, the Department of Homeland Security, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Lower Burrell Police Department for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of McKay.

Updated July 14, 2015