Washington, Pa., Man Pleads Guilty in Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy
PITTSBURGH - A resident of Washington, Pennsylvania pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.
Richard Lassic, II, 43, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that the defendant was one of 17 individuals indicted as a result of an investigation from June to November of 2015, using various investigative techniques including court authorized Title III wiretaps. Lassic was intercepted over a co-conspirator’s phone between August and October of 2015 purchasing multiple ounces of powder cocaine and crack cocaine.
On various dates, Lassic purchased cocaine and crack cocaine, which he referred to as various types of Adidas shoes. On October 6, 2015, Lassic purchased approximately 4.5 ounces of cocaine and crack cocaine for $5,900. He was subsequently pulled over on I-70 by a State Trooper for vehicle code violations. Lassic consented to a search of his car, during which the trooper located three plastic baggies containing approximately 124 grams (almost 4.5 ounces) of cocaine.
Based on intercepted calls, Lassic obtained well over 500 grams of cocaine from a co-conspirator during the interception period.
Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing for August 30, 2017. The law provides for a term of imprisonment of not less than five years and not more than 40 years, a fine of not more than $5,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Pending sentencing, Judge Bissoon ordered that the defendant remain detained.
Assistant United States Attorney Shanicka L. Kennedy is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department, and the Allegheny County Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the prosecution of Lassic. 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.