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Press Release

Superseding Indictment Means 48 Defendants Now Charged in Multi-State Drug Smuggling Prison Ring

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

PITTSBURGH, PA – A federal grand jury returned a Superseding Indictment charging 48 defendants, many of whom are serving federal prison sentences or were recently released from federal prison sentences, with committing drug trafficking, money laundering, and firearm crimes and with engaging in interstate travel and transmissions in aid of racketeering, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The 10-count Superseding Indictment, returned on June 18 and unsealed on June 21, adds 21 defendants and two counts to a 27-defendant, eight-count Indictment that was returned in January 2019. The Superseding Indictment charges 46 defendants in Count 1 with conspiring from January 2017 to January 2019 to distribute Schedule I, II, and III controlled substances, including 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, 1 kilogram or more of heroin, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, a quantity of para-fluoroisobutyryl fentanyl, a quantity of carfentanil, a quantity of oxycodone, a quantity of 5F-ADB, a quantity of FUB–AMB, a quantity of ADB-CHMINACA, a quantity of 4-CN-CUMYL-BUTINACA, a quantity of MMB-CHMICA, and a quantity of buprenorphine.

The 46 defendants charged in Count 1 are:

  • Noah Landfried, Moon Township
  • Mario Allen, USP-Lee, Virginia
  • Larry Benavides, Clinton County Jail, Pennsylvania
  • Dashawn Burley, Monroeville
  • Michel Cercone, Sewickley
  • Ahmad Fletcher, FCI-Gilmer, West Virginia
  • Michael S. Frawley, Pittsburgh
  • Christopher Gahagan, Ambridge
  • Richard Georgelos, Santa Cruz, Arizona
  • Nicholas Giammichele, FCI-Danbury, Connecticut
  • Robert Korbe, FCI-Loretto, Pennsylvania
  • Ross Landfried, USP-Lee, Virginia
  • Sterling Marshall, USP-Lee, Virginia
  • Darren Martin, Aliquippa
  • Harold Novick, Ambridge
  • Paul Nuara, Erie
  • Omari Patton, FCI-Fort Dix, New Jersey
  • James Perry, Ambridge
  • John Ramsey, FCI-Ray Brook, New York
  • Donnell Steward, FCI-Otisville, New York
  • Quoc Boa Trinh, FCI-Otisville, New York
  • Terrell Williams, Pittsburgh
  • Richard Wood, Pittsburgh
  • Shayla Yates, Dinwiddie, Virginia
  • Krystian Zarate, Santa Cruz, Arizona
  • Shamar Banks, FCI-Hazelton, West Virginia
  • Nicole Bracey, Waldorf, Maryland
  • Richard Bracey, FCI-Lee in Virginia
  • David Curran, FCI-Berlin, New Hampshire
  • William Fielder, FCI-Hazelton, West Virginia
  • Darwin Good, FCI-McKean, Pennsylvania
  • Eugene Hall, West Mifflin
  • Dorianne Harris, Homestead
  • Andrea Hopes, Pittsburgh
  • Thomas Hopes, FCI-Elkton, Ohio
  • Richard Jasek, West Mifflin
  • Seth Lindsey, Verona
  • Brandon Massie, FCI-Schuylkill, Pennsylvania
  • Lamar Middleton, USP-Big Sandy, Kentucky
  • Dana Penney, Beaver County Jail
  • Diassandai Serrano, North Versailles
  • Anthony Smith, McKeesport
  • Christian Stevens, Allegheny County Jail
  • Christopher Threet, RRM Detroit, Michigan
  • Paris Wilson, FCI-Sandstone, Minnesota, and
  • Sandra Wilson, McKees Rocks.


The Superseding Indictment charges 17 defendants in Count 2 with conspiring to launder drug trafficking proceeds from January 2017 to January 2019. The 17 defendants charged in Count 2 are Noah Landfried, Allen, Benavides, Cercone, Fletcher, Korbe, Ross Landfried, Marshall, Perry, Steward, Yates, Nicole Bracey, Richard Bracey, Andrea Hopes, Thomas Hopes, Middleton, and Threet.

The Superseding Indictment charges Angelo Williams (FCI-Cumberland in Maryland) and Priyanka Kumar (of Potomac, Maryland) in Count 3 with engaging in interstate travel and transmissions in aid of racketeering from January 2017 to January 2019.

Counts 4, 6, and 7 of the Superseding Indictment charge Gahagan with distributing cocaine in September 2017, January 2018, and April 2018. Count 5 charges Benavides with possessing para-fluoroisobutyryl fentanyl and 5F-ADB with intent to distribute in November 2017. Count 8 charges Noah Landfried with possessing with intent to distribute and distributing 40 grams or more of fentanyl and heroin in June 2018.

The Superseding Indictment adds Counts 9 and 10. Count 9 charges Penney with possessing fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine in June 2018. Count 10 charges Penney with possessing, brandishing, and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in July 2018.

The Superseding Indictment seeks forfeiture of the proceeds of the crimes as well as property that was acquired with the proceeds or was used to commit the crimes.

The law provides for minimum and maximum sentences for the counts in the Superseding Indictment ranging from at least 10 years to up to life in prison for Counts 1 and 10, up to 20 years for Count 2, up to 5 years for Count 3, up to 20 years for each of Counts 4 through 7 and 9, and from at least 5 years to up to 40 years for Count 8. Fines ranging from $250,000 to up to $20,000,000 may also be imposed. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentences imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal histories, if any, of the defendants.

Assistant United States Attorney Craig W. Haller is prosecuting this case on behalf of the United States.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, the federal Bureau of Prisons, and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General led the multi-agency investigation that also included the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Homeland Security/Homeland Security Investigations, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, the United States Marshals Service, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Munhall Police Department, the Robinson Township Police Department, the McKees Rocks Police Department, the Stowe Township Police Department, the Etna Police Department, and the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.

The investigation was funded by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF). 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.

A Superseding Indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated June 25, 2019