Seven Plead Guilty in Multi-State Cocaine Conspiracy
PITTSBURGH - Seven individuals, including four residents of Western Pennsylvania, two from Texas, and one from Florida, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal narcotics and money laundering laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
The defendants listed below pleaded guilty late last month before United States District Judge Arthur Schwab:
Jeffrey Turner, age 35, of McKeesport, Pennsylvania;
April Racan, age 37, of of McKeesport, Pennsylvania;
Joseph Borrelli, age 49, of Glassport, Pennsylvania;
Daniel Cosme, age 35, of San Benito, Texas;
Hugo Balboa, age 48, of Brownsville, Texas;
Brian Kettering, age 29, of Charleroi, Pennsylvania; and
William Coulson, age 50, formerly of McKeesport, Pennsylvania but now of St. Augustine, Florida.
In connection with the guilty pleas, the court was advised that between 2011 and 2015, a cocaine source of supply in Brownsville, Texas mailed dozens of packages of cocaine to Jeffrey Turner and April Racan in Elizabeth and McKeesport, in Allegheny County. Approximately eight kilograms (about 18 pounds) of cocaine were sent in this fashion.
Turner and Racan then sold the cocaine to Brian Kettering and others. Although drug proceeds in the form of cash were generally sent back to the source of supply in Texas, during a six-month period of time in 2012, postal money orders were purchased by Kettering and William Coulson, at the direction of Turner and Racan. The money orders totaled at least $116,700 and were sent by Turner and Racan from Pittsburgh back to Texas to a Dairy Queen managed by Daniel Cosme. Cosme turned the money orders over to the source of supply, who used Hugo Balboa to launder the money orders by depositing them into various bank accounts.
Joseph Borrelli, at that time Postmaster in West Newton, Pa., aided the drug conspiracy by providing addresses for vacant homes where the cocaine packages could be sent. When they arrived at the post office, the packages would be diverted to Turner and Racan.
Turner, Racan, Borrelli and Kettering were convicted of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Turner, Racan, Cosme, Balboa, Kettering and Coulson were convicted of money laundering conspiracy.
Dante Lozano, the eighth individual charged in the indictment, is in custody and in the process of being returned to the Western District of Pennsylvania to face drug and money laundering conspiracy charges.
Judge Schwab scheduled the following dates for sentencing:
October 19, 2016 – Racan and Kettering;
October 20, 2016 – Cosme;
October 26, 2016 – Balboa;
October 27, 2016 – Turner; and
November 2, 2016 – Coulson and Borrelli.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of years and up to life in prison, a fine of $ or both on the drug conspiracy count, and a sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of $500,000, or both on the money laundering conspiracy count.
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 the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The in Pittsburgh and the Drug Enforcement Administration in Brownsville, Texas, conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.