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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 25, 2019

Port Vue Woman Pleads Guilty to Drug Charges in Wiretap Case

PITTSBURGH, PA - A resident of Port Vue, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Krystle Barretto, 33, pleaded guilty to three counts before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Barretto, who was intercepted over a Title III wiretap, conspired to possess with intent to distribute and distributed more 100 grams of heroin. The court was further advised that Barretto arranged for approximately 500 bricks (i.e. 25,000 stamp bags) of heroin to be transported from the Patterson, New Jersey area to the McKeesport, Pa. area, which was seized by law enforcement officers. In addition, the court was made aware that Barretto had a loaded, Glock 17, 9mm handgun, an additional five bricks of heroin, and a large money counter in the bedroom of her residence in Port Vue.

Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing for June 19, 2019. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than five years and up to 40 years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense(s) and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Amy L. Johnston is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

A federally administered Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) conducted the investigation led to the prosecution of Krystle Barretto. The task force is headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is comprised of members drawn from the FBI Greater Pittsburgh Safe Street Task Force including the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, Clairton Police Department, Wilkinsburg Police Department, West Mifflin Police Department, Allegheny County Police Department, Duquesne Police Department, Munhall Police Department, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and the Pennsylvania State Police. 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.

The investigation, which utilized Title III intercepts from December 2014 through April 2015 of 10 different cellular telephones, surveillance, controlled drug purchases, and other investigative techniques, established the existence of a number of overlapping and interrelated drug distribution networks at work in the afflicted regions, which included Clairton, McKeesport, and Port Vue in Allegheny County, and areas in Washington County, Westmoreland County, and New Jersey.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated February 25, 2019