PITTSBURGH, Pa – A former resident of Munhall, PA was sentenced to seven years (84 months) in prison and six years of supervised release on violations federal firearms and narcotics laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Senior United States District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose imposed the sentence on Charles Payne, age 26, for 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. Payne has been detained since his initial appearance in federal court.
According to information presented to the court, on November 10, 2017, Allegheny County Police assisted by Munhall Police Department executed a search warrant at a residence 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. At the time of the execution of the search warrant, Payne was on state probation for firearms and drug trafficking convictions. A laboratory test revealed that the substances seized during the search warrant were heroin and methoxyacetyl fentanyl, a fentanyl analogue.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Lanni is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
Allegheny County Police – Narcotics Unit conducted the investigation leading to the guilty plea in this case.