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Press Release

Monroeville Man Sentenced to Nearly 16 Years in Prison on Drug and Gun Charges

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

PITTSBURGH – An Allegheny County resident has been sentenced in federal court for discharging a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, as well as for possessing with the intent to distribute heroin, and possessing firearms after having been convicted of a felony, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer imposed a sentence of imprisonment of 190 months, followed by five years of supervised release, on Dorian Cottrell, 22, of Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

According to information presented to the court, Dorian Cottrell was a heroin dealer who shot a .45 caliber pistol at one of his customers on Sept. 8, 2014. Cottrell’s bullet hit the customer’s friend, but by sheer luck, did not seriously injure him. Although Cottrell knew that he was under investigation for the shooting, he continued to sell heroin and carry firearms, and was stopped by the Monroeville police in December 2014 with approximately $20,000 in cash, a pistol with an obliterated serial number, and more than 200 stamp bags of heroin, while driving a BMW. Cottrell was then arrested in January 2015, at which time he possessed eight additional firearms, and more than 200 additional stamp bags of heroin.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Fischer told Cottrell that “the severity of this offense cannot be overstated,” and that Cottrell was fortunate that his victim had not been hurt or killed. Judge Fischer noted, however, that “heroin, in itself, is a killer” which imposes high costs on the community and the nation. Judge Fischer also pointed out that Cottrell benefitted from a good upbringing and had received lenience in court before, which made his crimes an affront to the law and to the community.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Monroeville Police Department, as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, for their work in the investigation of this case. This case was prosecuted under Project Safe Neighborhoods, a collaborative effort by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and communities to prevent, deter and prosecute gun crime. Assistant United States Attorney Conor Lamb prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

Updated March 17, 2016

Project Safe Neighborhoods