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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Pittsburgh Felon Pleads Guilty to Illegally Possessing Heroin, Fentanyl and a Loaded Pistol

PITTSBURGH − A resident of the City of Pittsburgh pleaded guilty in federal court to violating the federal narcotics and firearms laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Romello Edward Jones, age 20, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan to a two-count Indictment charging him with possessing quantities of heroin and fentanyl with the intent to distribute them, and unlawfully possessing a firearm and ammunition while knowing that he was a convicted felon. Federal law prohibits felons from possessing a firearm or ammunition.

In connection with the guilty plea, the Court was advised that on May 6, 2019, Allegheny County Probation and Parole Officers, and Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Officers, went to the Defendant’s residence to conduct a compliance check on Mr. Jones, who was on probation at that time for felony convictions relating to narcotics and firearms. While there, the officers observed the Defendant possessing a bag containing several "bricks" (approximately 400 individual dosage units) containing heroin. The officers searched the Defendant’s residence and found additional quantities of heroin and fentanyl, drug paraphernalia such as digital scales, and U.S. currency. In connection with the plea, the Defendant admitted that he possessed the quantities of heroin and fentanyl intending to distribute them. The officers also seized a loaded 9mm caliber semiautomatic pistol from the Defendant’s residence, which he admitted to possessing knowing that he had previously been convicted of a felony.

Judge Ranjan scheduled sentencing for June 10, 2020, at 10 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of up to 30 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $2,250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history of the defendant. Pending sentencing, the Court ordered the continued detention of Mr. Jones.

Assistant United States Attorney Jerome A. Moschetta is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Allegheny County Adult Probation and Parole Department, and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Mr. Jones.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated February 13, 2020