PITTSBURGH - A Fayette County resident has been sentenced in federal court to a term of imprisonment of 10 years on his conviction of conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab imposed the sentence on Andre Saunders, 35, formerly of Uniontown, Pa.
According to information presented to the court, Saunders had regular loads of 20 or more kilograms of cocaine, and multiple kilograms of heroin, shipped from California, hidden in compartments inside of cars. Saunders then supplied multiple drug dealers in the Uniontown area, and laundered more than $350,000 through an account at 84 Lumber and through a Home Equity Line of Credit. Saunders also laundered his drug proceeds by using cash to buy postal money orders, which he would use to pay off luxury cars and other debts.
In addition to the sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, Saunders will forfeit the following property to the United States: a 2008 BMW sedan; five luxury watches and a necklace; $325,120.00 in cash; his home in Uniontown; the proceeds of the sale of a property in Uniontown; a 9mm pistol; and a money judgment of $100,000.00.
U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which led the multi-agency investigation of this case. The investigation also included the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Fayette County Drug Task Force, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorneys Barbara K. Doolittle and Conor Lamb prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
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.