Members of Duquesne Heroin Trafficking Ring Guilty of Conspiracy to Distribute
PITTSBURGH - United States District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton found Anthony Pryor and Lance Yarbough guilty of one count each of Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway, who prosecuted the case, the evidence presented at trial established that Pryor and Yarbough participated in a large-scale heroin distribution operation centered in Duquesne, Pennsylvania. The verdict is the culmination of an investigation that began in 2010 and resulted in the convictions of nineteen individuals for heroin distribution and firearms charges, most of whom are from Duquesne. The core of the group called themselves Hardcore Entertainment, and some of the members of the conspiracy recorded music and video under that name as well. Some of videos, which they posted on YouTube, included members of the conspiracy bragging about their drug dealing activities.
Members of Hardcore Entertainment typically pulled their resources and obtained large quantities of heroin from New Jersey. They typically transported the heroin and money in vehicles with hidden compartments. Once the heroin reached the Pittsburgh area, members of the conspiracy split the heroin and sold it to other heroin distributors in the Pittsburgh area. During portions of the conspiracy, members of the conspiracy were making weekly trips between New Jersey and the Pittsburgh area transporting, on the monthly basis, hundreds of thousands of dollars and multiple kilograms of heroin. The conspiracy lasted from at least 2008 until 2012. The evidence presented at trial included controlled purchases of heroin, firearms, heroin, money, cellular telephone, and other evidence seized pursuant to search warrants, communications among the conspirators intercepted pursuant to Court authorization, and the seizure of heroin from the hidden compartment of one of the vehicles used to transports money and heroin between New Jersey and the Pittsburgh area.
Judge Walton scheduled sentencing for both defendants for October 16, 2017 The law provides for a total sentence for Pryor of 40 years in prison, a fine of $5 million, or both. The law provides for a total sentencing for Yarbough of life imprisonment, a fine of $10 million, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based on the seriousness of the and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.
The Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force consisting of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Allegheny County Sheriff's Office, Wilkinsburg Police Department, Allegheny County Police Dept., Oakdale Police Dept, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Pryor and Yarbough. The Duquesne Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police also participated in the investigation.