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Press Release

New Jersey Supplier for Washington County Drug Ring Sentenced to 10 Years

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

PITTSBURGH, PA -- A resident of New Jersey has been sentenced in federal court to 120 months’ imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release on his conviction for conspiring to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine and quantities of heroin and fentanyl, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

United States District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan imposed the sentence on James Vance, 37, of Jersey City, New Jersey.

According to the information presented to the court, in November of 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Pennsylvania State Police began investigation a drug trafficking organization that operated in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Beginning in April of 2020 and continuing into November of 2020, the FBI received authorization to conduct a Title III wiretap investigation into the organization. Through the wiretap and extensive physical and electronic surveillance in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, agents discovered that Vance met with alleged codefendants and coconspirators in New Jersey where he supplied them with kilogram quantities of cocaine and quantities of heroin-fentanyl mixtures. Vance’s alleged codefendants and coconspirators transported the drugs back to Washington County, Pennsylvania where they redistributed the drugs throughout the community. In addition to the intercepted communications, agents seized cocaine, heroin-fentanyl mixtures, firearms, and bulk United States Currency from members of the organization.

Assistant United States Attorneys Mark V. Gurzo and Jerome A. Moschetta prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

Acting United States Attorney Kaufman commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police Drug Law Enforcement Division for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Vance.

This prosecution is a result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles high-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten communities throughout the United States. OCDETF uses a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Updated October 19, 2021

Drug Trafficking