Multi-Jurisdictional Investigation into Drug Trafficking Culminates in Coordinated Law Enforcement Action in Four States and U.S. Virgin Island
PITTSBURGH – Following a multi-jurisdictional investigation into drug trafficking in Pittsburgh, Penn., 14 individuals have been indicted in the Western District of Pennsylvania for violating federal narcotics laws. The multi-agency Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation revealed a cocaine trafficking distribution network operating from the Virgin Islands to Detroit, Michigan, and a heroin trafficking scheme originating in Detroit and distributing to Pittsburgh. Coordinated law enforcement action occurred Thursday in multiple locations, with arrest warrants and search warrants being executed in Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“This investigation, which utilized Title III wiretap intercepts, controlled drug purchases and other investigative techniques, established the existence of several overlapping and interrelated drug distribution networks with tentacles in the Western District of Pennsylvania, Northern District of Ohio, Eastern District of Michigan, Northern District of Georgia and the District of the Virgin Islands.” stated U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton. “While our focus began in early 2015 on the Clinton Robinson drug trafficking organization operating on Pittsburgh’s North Side, we have since been able to track the drug suppliers beyond the borders of our own district and across the Caribbean Sea.”
“The arrests demonstrate, once again, the continued successful partnership of federal, state and local law enforcement in Western Pennsylvania,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Johnson of the FBI’s Pittsburgh Field Office. “We are committed to stopping the flow of illegal drugs into our community from wherever they originate and grateful to our law enforcement partners on the FBI Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force who worked tirelessly with us throughout this investigation and who are equally committed to keeping our neighborhoods safe.”
The Western District of Pennsylvania charges are contained in four separate, but related, indictments returned on Aug. 23, 2016, and unsealed yesterday.
- Clinton Robinson, 31, of Pittsburgh, PA;
- Ronelle Lane, 35, of Pittsburgh, PA;
- Vanier Murraine, 33, of Ferndale, MI;
- Victor Burnett, Jr., 36, of Oak Park, MI;
- Christopher Butler, 29, of Twinsburg, OH;
- Frank Williams, 27, of Detroit, MI; and
- Drue Williams, III, 35, of Cleveland, OH.
The two-count indictment alleges that from in and around January 2016 and continuing until around September 2016 Clinton Robinson, Ronelle Lane, Vanier Murraine, Victor Burnett, Jr., Christopher Butler, Frank Williams and Drue Williams, III, conspired to distribute and possession with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. In addition, the indictment alleges that on or about August 22, 2016, Robinson, Lane and Murraine attempted to distribute and possessed with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.
- Derrein Robinson, 33, of Pittsburgh, PA;
- Dion Robinson, 27, of Pittsburgh, PA; and
- Todd Kenney, 27, of Pittsburgh, PA.
The one-count indictment alleges that from in and around April 2016 and continuing to in and around June 2016 Derrein Robinson, his brother Dion Robinson and Todd Kenney conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin.
- Raheem Buchanan, 32, of Pittsburgh, PA; and
- Lamont Butler, 45, of Munhall, PA.
The one-count indictment alleges that from in and around February 2016 to in and around July 2016 Raheem Buchanan and Lamont Butler conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin.
- Kelvin Ferguson, 29, formerly of Pittsburgh, PA; and
- Regina Brown, 28, of Pittsburgh, PA.
The two-count indictment alleges that in and around May 2015, Kelvin Ferguson and Regina Brown conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin. The indictment further alleges that on May 14, 2015, Ferguson and Brown possessed with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin.
Clinton Robinson, Ronelle Lane, Derrien Robinson, Dion Robinson, Raheem Buchanan, Lamont Butler and Regina Brown were arrested yesterday morning and made their initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh. Vanier Murraine, Victor Burnett, Jr., and Frank Williams were arrested yesterday morning and made their initial appearances in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan. Christopher Butler and Drue Williams, III, were arrested yesterday in Ohio and will make their initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh today. Kelvin Ferguson is presently detained on state charges at SCI Somerset.
Todd Kenney is a fugitive. Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 412-432-4000.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Amy L. Johnston of the Western District of Pennsylvania is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
A federally administered Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case. The Western Pennsylvania OCDETF is headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is comprised of members drawn from the FBI Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force including the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Wilkinsburg Police Department, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, and Allegheny County Police Department. 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.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.