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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 18, 2021

McKeesport Man Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison for Causing an Overdose Death, Firearms Offenses

PITTSBURGH, PA – An Allegheny County resident has been sentenced in federal court to 14 years of imprisonment on his conviction of drug trafficking and firearms offenses, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

Senior United States District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose imposed the sentence on Derrick Walker, age 31, of McKeesport, Pennsylvania.

According to information presented to the court, on June 15, 2019, Walker sold several stamp bags of fentanyl to an individual. These stamp bags were labeled “Pray for Death.” The following day, the individual was found deceased, with several opened “Pray for Death” stamp bags next to him. The autopsy and toxicological testing confirmed that the victim died of a fentanyl overdose.

On June 24, 2019, the defendant was pulled over during a traffic stop and found in possession of additional stamp bags of fentanyl, and the cell phone that was used to arrange the transaction with the victim. The defendant’s house was subsequently searched, and investigators recovered additional stamp bags of fentanyl, including numerous stamp bags labeled “Pray for Death.” Investigators also recovered thousands of rounds of ammunition, as well as body armor and drug packaging paraphernalia. The defendant’s cellular phone was searched, and it contained numerous narcotics-related communications, including ones in which the defendant advertised that he had “Pray for Death” stamp bags for sale. The cellular phone also contained the text message conversations between the defendant and the victim, in which the victim and the defendant arranged the June 15, 2019 drug transaction. When the defendant was arrested on August 26, 2019, he was found in possession of a firearm and additional ammunition.

When the defendant pleaded guilty on December 21, 2020, he accepted responsibility for causing the death of the victim.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Ambrose stated that the defendant’s offense conduct was extremely serious.

Assistant United States Attorney Doug Maloney prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

Acting United States Attorney Kaufman commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Derrick Walker.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Updated October 18, 2021