Two Plead Guilty in Large-Scale Cocaine Trafficking Scheme
PITTSBURGH - One resident of Florida and another resident of New Jersey pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiring to distribute kilograms of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute kilograms of cocaine, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Danny Jackson, age 33, of Pine Hill, NJ pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and a second charge of possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine before Senior United States District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose.
Moussa Jabateh, age 32, a citizen of Liberia who was residing in Miami, FL, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Jabateh also consented to his removal from the United States after serving his prison sentence here.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from October 2017 through July 2018, Jackson, Jabateh, and their co-conspirators conspired to distribute between 50 to 150 kilograms of cocaine in the Western District of Pennsylvania. Jabateh obtained the supply of cocaine, and Jackson physically transported kilograms of cocaine via bus from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh roughly twice a month for the nine-month period. In connection with this investigation, the United States seized nearly $8,000,000 in cash and other assets; 42 kilograms of cocaine; 12 kilograms of fentanyl; three kilograms of heroin; and 121 grams of oxycodone.
Senior Judge Ambrose scheduled sentencing for both defendants on March 24, 2020 at 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. For Jackson the law provides for a total sentence of not less than 10 years and up to life in prison, a fine of $10,000,00, or both. For Jabateh, the law provides for a total sentence of not less than five years and up to 40 years in prison, a fine of $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 of the defendants.
Pending sentencing, the court continued the detention of both defendants.
Assistant United States Attorneys Tonya Sulia Goodman and Mark V. Gurzo are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force, which includes the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, the Wilkinsburg Police Department, and the Allegheny County Adult Probation Office, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Jackson and Jabateh.