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Press Release

Pittsburgh Man Admits to Drug Trafficking Charges

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

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to distribute heroin, fentanyl, crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and alprazolam and to possession with intent to distribute those same substances, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

Justin Misko, age 37, from the Hazelwood neighborhood of Pittsburgh, pleaded guilty to two counts before United States District Judge David S. Cercone the morning of August 9, the day that Misko’s jury trial was scheduled to begin.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from October 2018 to December 6, 2018, Misko conspired with others to distribute heroin, fentanyl, crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and alprazolam, which is more commonly known as Xanax. Misko and other conspirators distribute these drugs in various establishments in the Waterfront of West Homestead, including Dave & Busters and the Courtyard Marriot. On Dec. 6, 2018, Pittsburgh Police detectives and FBI Task Force Officers arrested Misko at the Marriot hotel based on an unrelated matter.  After seeing officers in the hallway, Misko locked himself in his room with a coconspirator.  The coconspirator threw two bags off the balcony into the courtyard. An FBI Task Force Officer who was positioned in the Courtyard caught the two bags, which were found to contain more than 17 bricks of heroin and fentanyl and distribution quantities of crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and alprazolam.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for Dec. 14, 2021 at 1:00 pm.  For each charge, Misko may be sentenced up to 20 years in prison, fined $1,000,000, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Misko had been detained pending trial, and the Court ordered that Misko continue to be detained pending sentencing.  

Assistant United States Attorney Brian M. Czarnecki is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

This case resulted from the investigations of multiple agencies, including the FBI, the West Homestead Police, and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.

Updated August 10, 2021

Drug Trafficking