Two Plead Guilty to Drug Charges
PITTSBURGH, PA – A two residents of Southwestern Pennsylvania pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of narcotics trafficking, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Larry Dandridge, age 24, formerly of Monroeville, PA, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin before Senior United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.
Damien Franklin, age 26, of Trafford, PA, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, also before Judge Schwab.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force conducted a long-term investigation of drug trafficking occurring in and around the Braddock area. In January of 2019, investigators obtained authorization to conduct a federal wire investigation, which continued through May of 2019.
As to Dandridge, intercepted communications confirmed that Dandridge was conspiring with others to possess with intent to distribute heroin in the Western District of Pennsylvania. The Court was further informed that Dandridge accepted responsibility for the distribution of 95 grams of heroin and seven pounds of marijuana between of April of 2019 and May of 2019.
As to Franklin, intercepted communications confirmed that Franklin was conspiring with others to possess with intent to distribute cocaine in the Western District of Pennsylvania. The Court was further informed that during at least two occasions, law enforcement seized a total of 672 grams of cocaine from Franklin’s drug customers. Franklin accepted responsibility for the distribution of at least 1,246 grams of cocaine.
Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for Dandridge on May 5, 2020 at 10:00 AM, and on May 7, 2020 at 9:00 AM for Franklin. As to Dandridge, the law provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years, a fine of not more than $1,000,000, or both. As to Franklin, the law provides for a maximum sentence of not less than five and not more than 40 years in prison, a fine of not more than $5,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. Dandridge remains detained and Franklin remains on bond pending sentencing.
Assistant United States Attorney Rebecca L. Silinski is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the multi-agency investigation of this case, which also included the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Allegheny County Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office Bureau of Narcotics, and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. Other assisting agencies include the Monroeville Police Department, Penn Hills Police Department, Wilkinsburg Police Department, and Allegheny County Adult Probation.
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.