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Press Release

McKeesport/Port Vue Heroin Dealer Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison

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

PITTSBURGH, PA - A former resident of Port Vue, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to a term of imprisonment of 15 years (180 months), to be followed by 10 years of supervised release on his conviction of violating federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

United States District Court Judge Cathy Bissoon imposed the sentence on Jarran Bell, age 38. 

According to information presented to the court, the investigation, which utilized Title III intercepts from December 2014 through April 2015, established the existence of a number of overlapping and interrelated drug distribution networks at work in the Western District of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Bell and his girlfriend Krystle Barretto were living together during the investigation. Bell and Barretto maintained numerous other residences, which were used as stash houses. Amanda Santiago lived in one of those residences during the investigative period.

In April of 2015, Bell and Barretto orchestrated two large shipments of heroin from Patterson, New Jersey, back to the McKeesport/Port Vue area. On April 19, 2015, Santiago, a courier, transported approximately 500 bricks of heroin from Patterson, New Jersey back to McKeesport via taxi cab.

On April 20, 2015, several search warrants were executed. Agents seized the heroin transported by Santiago. Additionally, from the bedroom of Bell and Barretto, agents seized a loaded firearm, approximately five bricks of heroin and a money counter.

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

A federally administered Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) conducted the investigation led to the prosecution of Bell. The task force is headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is comprised of members drawn from the FBI Greater Pittsburgh Safe Street Task Force including the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, Clairton Police Department, Wilkinsburg Police Department, West Mifflin Police Department, Allegheny County Police Department, Duquesne Police Department, Munhall Police Department, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and the Pennsylvania State Police. 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.

Updated September 11, 2019

Drug Trafficking