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Press Release

McKeesport Felon Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Distributing Drugs, Firearms Offenses

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

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A former resident of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to a term of imprisonment of 37 months to be followed by five years of supervised release on his conviction of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, being a convicted felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Senior United States District Court Judge Donetta W. Ambrose imposed the sentence on Thomas Thornton, age 43.

According to information presented to the court, the FBI received information that Thomas Thornton conspired to distribute drugs with another individual, and that he was also purchasing fentanyl and had several guns.  Agents executed a search warrant at Thornton’s McKeesport residence on May 22, 2018.  Agents recovered:  a 9mm semi-automatic handgun, with a loaded magazine; a .45 caliber handgun, with a loaded magazine; additional ammunition; 2 Airsoft vests; heroin; cocaine; scales and other materials indicative of drug sales; and a case of cough syrup.

Thornton admitted to selling drugs.  He admitted that he initially purchased marijuana from a source in California.  He later started purchasing cough syrup from Texas after realizing it would be easier for him to sell bottles of cough syrup for a profit.  Thornton also admitted that he has purchased heroin, cocaine and ecstasy pills from Texas.  Thornton admitted to receiving the 9mm firearm in exchange for 50 stamp bags of heroin.  As a result of a prior felony conviction, the defendant is prohibited from possessing firearms and/or ammunition.

Assistant United States Attorney Shanicka L. Kennedy prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Western Pennsylvania Opioid Task Force conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Thornton.

Updated November 26, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses