Michigan Man Pleads Guilty in Multi-Jurisdictional Investigation into Drug Trafficking
PITTSBURGH, PA - A Michigan resident pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Victor Burnett, Jr., 38, of Oak Park, Michigan, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Burnett conspired to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin. Specifically, the court was advised that Burnett, who was intercepted over a Title III wiretap, possessed approximately 1,366 grams of heroin, five firearms, ammunition, a money counter, multiple cell phones, and over $20,000 in US currency in his residence on the date of his arrest on September 1, 2016. In addition, the court was advised that approximately 100 grams of heroin, originally supplied by Burnett, was sent via the United States mail and seized by agents on August 22, 2016 prior to reaching its final destination in the Western District of Pennsylvania where it was to be further distributed.
Judge Fischer scheduled sentencing for July 18, 2019. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than 10 years and up to life in prison, a fine of up to $10,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense(s) and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Amy L. Johnston is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
An OCDETF task force headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and comprised of members drawn from the FBI Greater Pittsburgh Safe Street Task Force including the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Wilkinsburg Police Department, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, and the Allegheny County Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the prosecution. Substantial assistance was provided by FBI San Juan, Puerto Rico (St. Thomas Resident Agency, U.S. Virgin Islands) and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Numerous other FBI field offices, including Detroit, Cleveland, New York, and Atlanta, in addition to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, also assisted with this investigation. 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.
This investigation which utilized Title III wiretap intercepts and other investigative techniques that established the existence of a several overlapping and interrelated drug distribution networks with tentacles in the Western District of Pennsylvania, Northern District of Ohio, Eastern District of Michigan and the District of the Virgin Islands. The FBI Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets
Task Force’s focus began in early 2015 investigating a drug trafficking organization operating on Pittsburgh’s North Side and thereafter they were able to track drug suppliers beyond the borders of the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Eastern District of Michigan and across the Caribbean Sea.