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Press Release

Pittsburgh Woman Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Role in South Side Gang’s Drug Trafficking

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

PITTSBURGH, PA – A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was sentenced in federal court for narcotics trafficking in connection with a large-scale investigation conducted by the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

Raelynn Stevenson, age 31, was sentenced ten years’ imprisonment to be followed by eight years of supervised release by United States District Judge William S. Stickman IV. This sentence comes after Stevenson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing detectable amounts of fentanyl and heroin. Stevenson is one of 40 defendants that were charged in the Indictment and Superseding Indictment returned in this case.

In connection with the sentencing hearing, the Court was advised that in 2017, the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, initiated an investigation primarily targeting the Darccide/Smash 44, or DS44, neighborhood gang, and drug-trafficking activity in and around the South Side area of Pittsburgh. As part of this large-scale narcotics and firearms investigation, the United States received authorization to conduct a federal wire investigation, which continued through June of 2019. Intercepted communications revealed that the defendant both collaborated with lead defendant Christopher Highsmith and supplied her own drug customers. On several occasions during the conspiracy, the defendant and Highsmith discussed the weight, packaging, and distribution of narcotics.

Assistant United States Attorneys Carolyn Bloch and Brendan J. McKenna 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 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 the Wilkinsburg Police Department. Other assisting agencies include the Green Tree Police Department, New York City Police Department, Mount Oliver Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Yonkers Police Department, United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

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

Updated October 14, 2021

Drug Trafficking