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Press Release

Munhall Felon Pleads Guilty to Possessing Heroin, Gun and More than $25K in Cash during Drug Trafficking Operation

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

PITTSBURGH, Pa – A former resident of Munhall, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to violating federal firearms and narcotics laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Charles Payne, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of firearms by a convicted felon, one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, before United States District Judge Donetta Ambrose.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on November 10, 2017, Allegheny County Police assisted by Munhall Police Department executed a search warrant at a home on Martha Street in Munhall, PA. Payne was discovered in the upstairs bedroom with his girlfriend and infant child. In the first floor of the house, investigators found a large garbage bag filled with bricks of heroin, empty brick wrappers, a Pennsylvania state ID for Charles Payne, and approximately $25,000 in cash. Investigators also found two digital scales, three boxes of ammunition, a laser sight, and a loaded stolen silver handgun in the house. Payne had previously been convicted of a state drug trafficking conviction and is prohibited from possessing any firearms.

Judge Ambrose scheduled sentencing for March 23, 2019. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of a mandatory minimum five years in prison to life, a fine of $1,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and prior record of the defendant. Payne will continue to be detained pending sentencing.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Turning the tide of rising violent crime in America is a top priority of the Department of Justice.

Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Lanni is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Allegheny County Police – Narcotics Unit conducted the investigation leading to the guilty plea in this case.

Updated November 8, 2018

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods