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Press Release

Monessen Heroin Dealer Sentenced to 11+ Years in Federal Prison

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

PITTSBURGH, PA - A former resident of Monessen, Pennsylvania has been sentenced in federal court to a term of imprisonment of 11 years and eight months (140 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 Judge Cathy Bissoon imposed the sentence on Donald Mitchell, age 38.

According to information presented to the court, Mitchell was a heroin distributor for the Jarran Bell Drug Trafficking Organization. Mitchell was intercepted via Title III intercepts communicating with Bell during this investigation. For instance, in early April of 2015, Jarran Bell, Krystle Barretto, and Amanda Santiago traveled to Paterson, New Jersey to orchestrate a 250-brick shipment of heroin, which was confirmed upon their return when Bell started contacting distributors for his organization, including Donald Mitchell. Mitchell received 100 bricks of heroin from Bell at that time. From December 2014 through April 2015, Mitchell received over one kilogram of heroin from Bell.

The investigation, which utilized Title III intercepts from December 2014 through April 2015 of 10 different cellular telephones, surveillance, controlled drug purchases, and other investigative techniques, established the existence of a number of overlapping and interrelated drug distribution networks at work in the afflicted regions, which included Clairton, McKeesport, Port Vue, areas in Washington County, Westmoreland County, and New Jersey.

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 Barretto. 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 July 17, 2019

Drug Trafficking