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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Leader of a Local Heroin Trafficking Organization Pleads Guilty

PITTSBURGH - A Pittsburgh resident pleaded guilty in federal court to violating federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

Sean McHenry, 29, of pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin from September of 2018 through October of 2019, before United States District Judge William S. Stickman, IV.  In addition, McHenry accepted responsibility for possessing a firearm in conjunction with his heroin trafficking.  McHenry is one of 19 defendants charged in the Indictment returned in this case.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that in 2018, the Federal Bureau of Investigation began investigating a heroin trafficking organization lead by McHenry that operated throughout the greater Pittsburgh area.  Beginning in February of 2019 and continuing through September of 2019, the FBI received authorization to conduct a Title III wiretap investigation into the organization.  McHenry, as one of the leaders of this multi-member drug trafficking organization, was intercepted orchestrating and directing the distribution of heroin throughout Pittsburgh by various members of the organization.  In addition to the intercepted communications, agents seized heroin, firearms, and bulk United States Currency from members of the organization, including McHenry.

Judge Stickman scheduled sentencing for Dec. 16, 2022.  The law provides for a total sentence of not less than five years to a maximum of 40 years of imprisonment, a fine not to exceed $5,000,000, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.  McHenry remains in custody pending sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorney Mark V. Gurzo is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, the Allegheny County Police Department, the Stowe Township Police Department, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, the Office of the Attorney General, the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office, the North Versailles Police Department, the Allegheny County Port Authority Police Department, the Munhall Police Department, and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation leading to the prosecution of McHenry. 

This prosecution is a 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.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated August 10, 2022