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Press Release

Las Vegas Man Arranged for Marijuana to be Distributed on Western PA College Campuses, Including IUP

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Las Vegas, Nevada, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana and conspiracy to launder proceeds of marijuana trafficking, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Ryan Schanck, age 30, pleaded guilty to two counts before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that the Drug Enforcement Administration and other agencies conducted a multi-year investigation of the marijuana trafficking conspiracy of Schanck and his co-conspirators. From 2012 through 2017, Schanck and his co-conspirators arranged for marijuana to be supplied from the West Coast and mailed to the Pittsburgh area through the United States Postal Service. Schanck and his co-conspirators would then distribute the marijuana in the Western District of Pennsylvania, primarily on college campuses, such as Indiana University of Pennsylvania. During the operation of the conspiracy, Schanck conspired to distribute from 700 to 1000 kilograms of marijuana. He also conspired to launder approximately $258,404 in proceeds from marijuana trafficking.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for October 4, 2018. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than five years to 40 years in prison, a fine of $5,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued the defendant’s bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Tonya Sulia Goodman is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and the Indiana Borough Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Schanck. 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.

Updated May 16, 2018

Drug Trafficking