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Press Release

Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Charges

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

PITTSBURGH, PA – A former resident of Garfield Heights, Ohio, pleaded guilty in federal court to violations federal narcotics laws related to a nine-month Title III wiretap investigation into drug trafficking in and around the counties of Jefferson, Clearfield, and Allegheny, United States Attorney Cindy Chung announced today.

Kareem Rock, age 28, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and one count of possession with the intent to distribute before United States District Judge Christy Criswell Wiegand. Rock was one of 47 defendants charged in six related indictments as part of the Return to Sender investigation.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on February 6, 2021, Pennsylvania State Police troopers stopped Rock and Kimari in a vehicle and seized approximately 590 grams of methamphetamine. Investigators then obtained a search warrant for a hotel room rented by Rock and a co-defendant and seized an additional 200 grams of methamphetamine, 43 grams of fentanyl, and a firearm. Through a joint investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Pennsylvania State Police, investigators determined that Rock supplied two individuals residing in Penfield, Pennsylvania, with methamphetamine on multiple occasions between July of 2020 and February of 2021.

Judge Wiegand scheduled sentencing for Rock on Jan. 11, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than 10 years to a maximum of life in prison, a fine not to exceed $10,000,000, or both. 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.

Pending sentencing, the court ordered that the defendant remain detained.

Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan D. Lusty and Michael R. Ball are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Drug Enforcement Administration led the multi-agency investigation of this case, which also included the Homeland Security Investigations, United States Postal Service – Office of Inspector General, United States Postal Inspection Service, Internal Revenue Services, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Allegheny County Police, and Pennsylvania State Police. Also assisting were the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, Clearfield County District Attorney’s Office, and the Clarion Borough Police Department.

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 September 2, 2022

Drug Trafficking