Pittsburgh Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Charge Related to GBK Investigation
PITTSBURGH - A resident of Pittsburgh, PA, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Cecil Howard, age 48, pleaded guilty to one count before Senior United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that in 2017, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration initiated a wiretap investigation, primarily targeting the GBK street gang and drug trafficking in and around an area known as the Greenway Projects, located in the West End of the City of Pittsburgh. The wiretap investigation revealed that from in and around November 2017 through in and around June 2018, Howard and his co-conspirators distributed more than 28 grams of crack cocaine in and around the area of the Greenway Projects.
Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for April 21, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than 5 years and up to 40 years in prison, a fine of $5,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history of the defendant.
Pending sentencing, the court continued the defendant’s detention.
Assistant United States Attorneys Tonya Sulia Goodman and Yvonne Saadi are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration jointly led the multi-agency investigation, which also included the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Pennsylvania State Police, Robinson Township Police Department, Stowe Township Police Department, Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, Wilkinsburg Borough Police Department, and the McKees Rocks Police Department, that led to the prosecution of Cecil Howard.
The investigation was funded by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF). The OCDETF program supplies critical federal funding and coordination that allows federal and state agencies to work together to successfully identify, investigate, and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises.