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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 15, 2019

Two Pittsburgh Men Charged with Conspiring to Distribute 10 Kilos of Cocaine

PITTSBURGH, PA – Two former residents of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of violating federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The two-count Indictment, returned on August 13, named Abraham Martinez, 50, and Donell Higginbotham, 40, as co-defendants. The indictment, which was returned following a federal criminal complaint that was filed on July 17, 2019, charges Martinez and Higginbotham with conspiring to distribute and attempting to possess with intent to distribute 10 kilograms of cocaine. According to the Affidavit supporting the criminal complaint, investigators with the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted a controlled purchase and delivery operation on July 16, 2019, and thereafter apprehended Martinez and Higginbotham with approximately 10 kilograms of suspected cocaine and $310,000 in U.S. Currency.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of life in prison, and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $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 defendant. Both defendants remain detained in prison until the resolution of the case.

Assistant United States Attorney Rebecca L. Silinski is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

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

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated August 16, 2019