Two Charged in FBI Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Wiretap Investigation
PITTSBURGH - One resident of Michigan, and one resident of Ohio, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of violating federal narcotics and firearms laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
The two-count superseding indictment named Victor Burnett, Jr., 37, of Oak Park, Michigan, and Christopher Butler, 31, of Twinsburg, Ohio, as defendants.
According to the superseding indictment, from in and around January 2016, and continuing thereafter to in and around September 2016 in the Western District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere, Burnett, Jr. and Butler conspired with each other and others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance. Additionally, on or about September 1, 2016, Burnett, Jr. possessed multiple firearms in furtherance of the drug trafficking conspiracy.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than 10 years and up to life in prison, a fine not to exceed $10,000,000, or both. 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 defendants.
Assistant United States Attorney Amy L. Johnston is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
An OCDETF task force headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and comprised of members drawn from the FBI Greater Pittsburgh Safe Street Task Force including the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Wilkinsburg Police Department, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, and the Allegheny County Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the Superseding Indictment in this case. Substantial assistance was provided by FBI San Juan, Puerto Rico (St. Thomas Resident Agency, U.S. Virgin Islands) and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Numerous other FBI field offices, including Detroit, Cleveland, New York, and Atlanta, in addition to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, also assisted with this investigation. 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.
This investigation which utilized Title III wiretap intercepts and other investigative techniques that established the existence of a several overlapping and interrelated drug distribution networks with tentacles in the Western District of Pennsylvania, Northern District of Ohio, Eastern District of Michigan and the District of the Virgin Islands. The FBI Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force’s focus began in early 2015 on a drug trafficking organization operating on Pittsburgh’s North Side and thereafter they were able to track drug suppliers beyond the borders of the aforementioned districts and across the Caribbean Sea.
A superseding indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.