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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Jury Finds Washington County Felon Guilty of Heroin Trafficking

PITTSBURGH - A federal jury of 12 citizens from throughout the Western District of Pennsylvania unanimously found Maurice “Reese” Frezzell guilty of selling heroin, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.

Maurice Frezzell, 34, of Monessen, Pennsylvania, was tried before United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Ross E. Lenhardt, a federal prosecutor in the Violent Crime Section of the Office of the United States Attorney, the evidence presented at trial established that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has joined forces with many local and state law enforcement agencies in order to investigate allegations of heroin and opioid trafficking. These officers learned that Frezzell was selling heroin in the greater Washington County area and developed a Confidential Source to buy heroin directly from Frezzell on November 19, 2015.

After the verdict, Judge Schwab was informed that Frezzell has 15 separate convictions that include a prior federal drug dealing conviction and two other state drug dealing convictions. Frezzell’s criminal career began at the age of 12 with a sexual assault and has included two assaults on law enforcement and the illegal possession of a handgun with an obliterated serial number. Court records show that Frezzell is currently being supervised by the United States Probation Office after serving a previous federal prison sentence of 80 months and that Frezzell has additional drug charges pending as a result of a recent federal search warrant that revealed multiple different drugs in his residence.

Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing on this conviction for April 17, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $2,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based on the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court ordered that Deputy United States Marshals return the defendant to a federal holding facility. The defendant has also been ordered to remain incarcerated pending a violation hearing for committing his new drug crimes while he was on federal supervision.

A group of law enforcement officers from the DEA, the Monessen Police Department, the Canonsburg Police Department, the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Washington County District Attorney’s Office, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the IRS conducted the investigation that led to the arrest and conviction of Frezzell.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated December 6, 2017