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Press Release

West Mifflin Man Pleads Guilty to Drug and Firearm Violations

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – A resident of West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to federal drug and firearm charges, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.

Marcus Valenzi, 35, pleaded guilty before United States Senior District Judge David S. Cercone to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

In connection with the guilty plea, the Court was advised that Valenzi was identified as a member of a drug trafficking organization operating within the Western District of Pennsylvania during an investigation conducted by federal and state law enforcement between August 2022 and November 2023. Federal search warrants executed upon residences used by the conspirators in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, resulted in the seizure of fentanyl, firearms, and cellphones. A subsequent federal search warrant executed upon Valenzi’s residence on November 15, 2023, resulted in the seizure of over $16,000, multiple cellphones, and xylazine, a substance used as a cutting agent for fentanyl. A search of Valenzi’s phones revealed communications with a drug customer seeking the return of his firearm. Valenzi, who had a previous felony conviction in Florida for robbery, replied that he had thrown the gun in the river after the raids in McKees Rocks. Federal law prohibits possession of a firearm or ammunition by a convicted felon.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for July 18, 2024. The maximum penalty for the drug conspiracy charge is up to 20 years in prison, up to a $1 million fine, or both. The maximum penalty for the firearm charge is a term of imprisonment of up to 15 years, a fine of up to $250,000, 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 defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Brendan J. McKenna is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Valenzi.

Updated March 27, 2024

Topics
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses