Skip to main content
Press Release

Pittsburgh Man Pleads Guilty to Cocaine Conspiracy Charge

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

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.

James Stewart, 44, pleaded guilty on April 16, 2024, to one count before United States District Judge Robert J. Colville.

In connection with the guilty plea, the Court was advised that a long-term investigation into drug-trafficking and illegal firearms activity in the Western District of Pennsylvania involving, among others, Anthony Peluso, a heroin and cocaine trafficker who supplied narcotics to lower-level drug traffickers, identified Stewart as one of Peluso’s customers. This included Stewart meeting with Peluso or his associates on multiple occasions to obtain cocaine that Stewart then redistributed to others. The investigation was conducted by the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Judge Colville scheduled sentencing for August 15, 2024. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $1 million, 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 Attorneys Rebecca L. Silinski and Jonathan D. Lusty are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the multi-agency investigation of this case, which also included the United States Postal Inspection Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Pennsylvania State Police, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General Bureau of Narcotics Investigations. Other assisting agencies include the Allegheny County Police Department, Baldwin Police Department, Brentwood Police Department, McKees Rocks Police Department, Stowe Township Police Department, and West Deer Township Police Department.

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

Updated April 18, 2024

Drug Trafficking