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Press Release

Whitaker Man Charged with Distributing Drugs Resulting in Death

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

PITTSBURGH – Justin Thornton has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh for acetylfentanyl and fentanyl trafficking resulting in the death of one person, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

The indictment charges Thornton, 32, of Whitaker, Pa., with distributing acetylfentanyl and fentanyl on August 7 and 8, 2015, that killed one person. The indictment also charges Thornton with possession with intent to distribute heroin, acetylfentanyl, fentanyl, crack cocaine and cocaine on August 13, 2015.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of at least 20 years and up to life in prison, a fine of up to $6,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Ryan K. Hart is prosecuting this case on behalf of the United States.

The Allegheny County Police Department, the West Mifflin Police Department and the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated March 10, 2016

Drug Trafficking