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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Pittsburgh Woman Admits Involvement in DS44 Gang’s Drug Trafficking Activity

PITTSBURGH, PA –A resident of Pittsburgh pleaded guilty in federal court to charges related to drug trafficking in connection with a large-scale investigation conducted by the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

April Price, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute or possess with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of heroin and fentanyl, before United States District Judge William S. Stickman IV. Ms. Price is one of 37 defendants charged in the Indictment.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that in 2017, the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force initiated an investigation primarily targeting the Darccide/Smash 44, or DS44, neighborhood gang, and its drug-trafficking activity, in and around the South Side area of Pittsburgh. As part of this large-scale narcotics and firearms investigation, in February of 2019, the United States received authorization to conduct a federal wire investigation, which continued through June of 2019.

The court was further advised that Ms. Price was involved in the distribution of heroin and fentanyl, along with co-defendants Christopher Highsmith and Anthony Jetter.

Judge Stickman scheduled sentencing for July 14, 2020, at 10:30 am. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than five years to not more than 40 years in prison, a fine of up to $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 each defendant. Price remains detained pending sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorney Christy C. Wiegand is 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 Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Allegheny County Adult Probation, Allegheny County Police Department, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office,

Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office Bureau of Narcotics, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and theWilkinsburg Police Department. Other assistingagencies include the Green Tree PoliceDepartment, New YorkCityPolice Department, Mount Oliver Police Department, PennsylvaniaState Police, Yonkers Police Department,United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force, and theUnited States PostalInspection Service.

The investigation was funded by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement TaskForce Program (OCDETF). The OCDETF program supplies critical federal fundingandcoordination thatallows federaland state agencies to work together to successfullyidentify,investigate, and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated February 13, 2020