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Justice News

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

Monday, April 1, 2019

Verona Man Pleads Guilty in Large Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy

PITTSBURGH - A Verona, Pennslvania resident pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Angelo Massie, 41, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from in and around November 2015, and continuing thereafter to in and around September 2016, Massie conspired with others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance.

Judge Fischer scheduled sentencing for September 17, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than 15 years to a maximum of life in prison, a fine not to exceed $20,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorneys Amy L. Johnston and Yvonne M. Saadi are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Allegheny County District Attorney Narcotics Enforcement Team – Narcotics, Firearms, & Violent Crime Task Force, as well as the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General – Bureau of Criminal Investigations, Organized Crime Section – Western Regional Office contributed significantly to the investigation, which resulted in the instant guilty plea.

This case grew out of a federally administered Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation that resulted in several federal indictments in August of 2016. The OCDETF task force is headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is comprised of members drawn from the FBI Greater Pittsburgh Safe Street Task Force including the Pittsburg Bureau of Police, Wilkinsburg Police Department, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, and the Allegheny County Police Department. 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.

The indictments from August 2016 were the result of an 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 own district and across the Caribbean Sea.

Drug Trafficking
Updated April 1, 2019