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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Two Charged in Connection to Fatal and Non-Fatal Overdoses Last Weekend

PITTSBURGH – Two individuals have been charged in separate, but related, indictments relating to the September 22-23, 2019 overdose deaths of three people and non-fatal overdoses of five people that occurred in Pittsburgh and West Mifflin, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

"These cases are stark reminders that although we have made significant progress, we continue to fight an epidemic," said U.S. Attorney Brady. "I commend the tireless efforts of our law enforcement partners who within 24 hours of the first overdose arrested the distributor of these deadly narcotics and took five kilograms of it off the streets."

A seven-count indictment returned today names Peter Rene Sanchez Montalvo aka Carlos, 25, of Coachella, California, as the sole defendant. According to the indictment and a criminal complaint filed in the case, on September 22, 2019, Montalvo distributed fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl at a party in an apartment located at 2626 Tunnel Boulevard on Pittsburgh’s South Side. The indictment alleges that the distribution resulted in the deaths of R.M., J.P., and J.S., as well as serious bodily injury to F.M., G.G., and P.R.

A one-count indictment returned today charges Derek Omar Smith, 36, of West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, with possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl. According to a criminal complaint filed in the case, on September 23, 2019 at 3:15 a.m., West Mifflin Police were dispatched to a suspected overdose at 4304 Bowes Avenue in West Mifflin. Upon arrival they located two individuals who had overdosed, and who medics were able to revive with Narcan. The homeowner identified one of the men as Derek Omar Smith. During the investigation, West Mifflin police located a bag laying on the ground outside. Police opened the bag and observed five blocks of narcotics.

Investigation by the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office has determined the substances referenced in both cases to be fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl, an analogue of fentanyl.

Montalvo was arrested on Monday in McKees Rocks and Smith was arrested on Monday in West Mifflin. The United States Attorney’s Office intends to seek detention without bail of the defendants pending trial.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than 20 years and up to life in prison, a fine of $16,000,000, or both, for Montalvo. The law provides for maximum total sentence

of not less than 10 years and up to life in prison, a fine of $10,000,000, or both for Smith. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorneys Brendan T. Conway and Robert C. Schupansky is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The investigation leading to the filing of charges in these cases was conducted by the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, the FBI’s Western Pennsylvania Opioid Task Force, which is comprised of law enforcement officers from the FBI, Port Authority Police of Allegheny County, the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, the North Versailles Police Department and the Stowe Twp. Police Department, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

This case is being prosecuted as part of Operation S.O.S. (Synthetic Opioid Surge), a Department of Justice enforcement initiative designed to dismantle deadly fentanyl distribution networks through cooperation with local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as local and state prosecutors. The Western District of Pennsylvania is one of 10 districts from across the country to implement the S.O.S. program.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
Updated September 25, 2019