McKeesport Man Pleads Guilty in Narcotics Trafficking Ring
PITTSBURGH, PA. - A resident of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to distribute narcotics, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Cecil Shields, 41, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring with Elliot Page, Skyler Carter, and 18 other individuals, between March and June of 2017, to distribute narcotics. In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Shields purchased approximately 60 grams of fentanyl, commonly known as "bricks", per month from his codefendant, Elliot Page, for further distribution in the McKeesport area. Shields was arrested by officers of the McKeesport Police Department on unrelated charges on June 24, 2017, at which time he was found in possession of more than $5,000 cash. The officers also discovered a bag on the ground approximately five feet from Shields containing more than 270 "stamp bags" of fentanyl. Shields acknowledged responsibility for the distribution of at least 160 grams of fentanyl. He is the sixteenth of 21 defendants charged in the case to plead guilty.
Judge Arthur J. Schwab scheduled sentencing for October 4, 2018, at 9:30 a.m. Shields has at least one prior felony drug conviction, and as such, is subject to enhanced penalties. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of not more than $2,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will depend upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. Shields remains incarcerated pending the sentencing hearing.
Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the multi-agency investigation of this case, which also included the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, the Allegheny County Police Department, and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. 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.