Skip to main content
Press Release

Leader Of Drug Trafficking Organization Pleads Guilty

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

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A Detroit resident pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Kenneth Irving Carter, 34, of Detroit, Michigan, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Kim R. Gibson.

In connection with the guilty plea, from the spring of 2011 to May 15, 2012, Carter, along with 14 co-defendants, conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin. In addition to his plea of guilty to the heroin trafficking charge, Carter also accepted responsibility for conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute approximately 8,000 Opana pills.

Carter, as the leader of this multi-member drug trafficking organization, orchestrated and directed the movement of the heroin from Detroit to locations in Johnstown and Blairsville for ultimate sale by various members of his drug trafficking network. In addition to his leadership role in his drug organization, Carter employed threats of violence and the actual use of violence in managing his subordinate co-defendants.

Judge Gibson scheduled sentencing for Jan. 15, 2015, at 10 a.m. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of life in prison and a fine of $10,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie L. Haines is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Laurel Highlands Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Indiana Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Carter. Other agencies participating in this investigation included the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office, the Cambria County Drug Task Force, the Cambria County Sheriff's Department, the Cambria County District Attorney's Office, the Indiana County Drug Task Force, and the Indiana County District Attorney's Office.

Updated July 14, 2015