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Press Release

Pittsburgh Man Sentenced to Prison for Long-Running Conspiracy to Bring Marijuana from the West Coast to Western PA College Campuses

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

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Pittsburgh, PA has been sentenced in federal court to five years’ (60 months’) imprisonment, a fine of $1,500 and four years supervised release on his convictions of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and money laundering, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Senior United States District Judge David S. Cercone imposed the sentence on Christopher Schanck, age 36.

According to information presented to the court, the Drug Enforcement Administration and other agencies conducted a multi-year investigation of the marijuana trafficking conspiracy of Schanck and his co-conspirators. From 2012 through 2017, Schanck and his co-conspirators arranged for marijuana to be supplied from the West Coast and mailed to the Pittsburgh area through the United States Postal Service. Schanck and his co-conspirators would then distribute the marijuana in the Western District of Pennsylvania, primarily on college campuses, such as Indiana University of Pennsylvania. During the operation of the conspiracy, Schanck conspired to distribute from 100 to 400 kilograms of marijuana. He also conspired to launder proceeds from marijuana trafficking.

Chris Schanck’s codefendant and brother, Ryan Schanck, was previously sentenced to 71 months in prison.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Cercone stated that the sentence was sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to achieve the goals of sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorney Tonya Sulia Goodman prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Brady commended the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and the Indiana Borough Police for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Schanck. 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.


Updated August 22, 2019

Drug Trafficking