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Press Release

Seven Fields Resident Pleads Guilty to Drug and Firearm Violations

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

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – A resident of Seven Fields, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to drug and firearm charges, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.

Durrell Fortson, 45, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute a quantity of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of that drug trafficking crime before United States District Judge William S. Stickman.

In connection with the guilty plea, the Court was advised that, on November 16, 2022, law enforcement initiated a traffic stop of a vehicle driven by Fortson. During that stop, a drug K-9 conducted an exterior sniff of the vehicle and alerted an officer to the presence of controlled substances. Law enforcement then applied for and obtained a search warrant for the vehicle. The subsequent search resulted in the seizure of an air mattress box in the trunk containing two gallon- sized bags of cocaine, a bag from the back seat area that contained two kilogram wrappers with cocaine residue, a digital scale from the back seat area, and a .40 caliber handgun loaded with thirteen rounds of ammunition from underneath the driver’s seat. Law enforcement searched the serial number located on the loaded handgun and learned that it was reported stolen.

Judge Stickman scheduled sentencing for June 11, 2024. The maximum total penalty for the drug charge is a term of imprisonment of up to 20 years, a $1,000,000 fine, or both. The maximum total penalty for the firearm charge is a term of not less than five years and up to life in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. Under the federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Brendan J. McKenna is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General and the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Fortson.

Updated February 2, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses