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Press Release

Pittsburgh Man Charged with Possession of a Heroin/Fentanyl Mixture

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

PITTSBURGH, PA - A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of violating the federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The one-count Indictment named Ralph Justin Saunders, age 32, of the Perry South neighborhood, as the sole defendant.

According to the Indictment, on or about March 17, 2020, in the Western District of Pennsylvania, Saunders possessed with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing detectable amounts of heroin and fentanyl, which are scheduled controlled substances under federal law. This Indictment follows Saunders’s arrest on March 17, 2020, after which he was charged by Criminal Complaint on March 18, 2020, with a violation of the federal narcotics laws. Saunders has been detained since his arrest on March 17, 2020.

The law provides for a term of imprisonment of not less than five years to a maximum of 40 years, a fine of not more than $5,000,000 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.

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

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated May 20, 2020

Drug Trafficking