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Press Release

Latrobe Man Sentenced to 5 Years for Supplying Meth to Members of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club

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

PITTSBURGH, PA - A former resident of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, was sentenced in federal court on charges of violating federal narcotics trafficking laws, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

Joshua Birrell, 40, was sentenced on Jan. 11, 2023, to five years’ imprisonment and four years of supervised release by United States District Judge Robert J. Colville.

In conjunction with the sentencing hearing, the Court was informed that the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, conducted a long-term investigation into drug-trafficking activity occurring in the Western District of Pennsylvania. Law enforcement identified several individuals, suspected at the time, of illegally distributing controlled substances, including methamphetamine in Allegheny, Westmoreland, Erie, Fayette, and Washington Counties.

During the investigation, investigators learned of individuals involved/associated with the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club (PMC) responsible for distributing methamphetamine, in Westmoreland County. Investigators identified Birrell, who was not a member of the PMC, as a methamphetamine source of supply for the PMC, including among others, co-defendant Zachary Miller.

On May 17, 2020, law enforcement seized a parcel containing methamphetamine intended for Birrell, obtained Facebook drug-facilitation communications between Birrell and Miller, from in and around January 2020 to July 2020, and conducted surveillance of Birrell. Birrell admitted to conspiring to distribute at least 350 grams but less than 500 grams of methamphetamine.

Assistant United States Attorney Rebecca L. Silinski prosecuted this case on behalf of the United States.

United States Attorney Chung commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Pennsylvania State Police, and Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General Bureau of Narcotics Investigations, for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Birrell.

This sentencing was the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles high-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten communities throughout the United States. OCDETF uses a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against
criminal networks.

Updated January 23, 2023

Drug Trafficking