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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Westmoreland County Heroin Addict Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug and Gun Charges

PITTSBURGH, PA- A resident of West Newton PA, pleaded guilty in federal court to federal drug and firearms violations, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

William Kalna, 51, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and one count of possession of firearms and ammunition by a person addicted to a controlled substance before United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that that the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force conducted a long-term investigation of drug trafficking occurring in and around the Braddock section of Pittsburgh, PA.  In January of 2019, investigators obtained authorization to conduct a federal wiretap investigation, which continued through May of 2019.  Intercepted communications confirmed that Kalna was obtaining distributor quantities of heroin from another member of the conspiracy, which Kalna both used and distributed in Westmoreland County to support his addiction.  In connection with the guilty plea, Kalna took responsibility for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute 254 grams of heroin.  The court was further informed that during the execution of a federal search warrant at Kalna’s residence on June 12, 2019, law enforcement officials seized 28 firearms, a large quantity of ammunition, $2,669.00 in United States currency, and four digital scales.  Kalna, who was at the time addicted to heroin, was prohibited from possessing these firearms and ammunition.       

Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for May 12, 2020 at 9 a.m. date and time of sentencing  The law provides for a total sentence of not less than 5 and not more than 40 years in prison, a fine of $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, if any, of the defendant.  Kalna remains on bond pending sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorney Rebecca L. Silinski is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the multi-agency investigation of this case, which also included the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Allegheny County Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office Bureau of Narcotics, and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. Other assisting agencies include the Monroeville Police Department, Penn Hills Police Department, Wilkinsburg Police Department, and Allegheny County Adult Probation.

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.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Updated January 15, 2020