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Press Release

Wilkinsburg Man Pleads Guilty in Scheme to Distribute Heroin and Fentanyl Analogue

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

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and a fentanyl analogue, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Termane Thomass Eleam, age 32, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Eleam conspired with other individuals to possess with intent to distribute over 100 grams of heroin and furanyl fentanyl, an analogue of fentanyl.

The Court was further advised that on November 3, 2016, Department of Homeland Security, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Monroeville Police executed a search warrant on Rooms 238 and 305 of the Days Inn, located in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. During the search of Room 238, investigators seized suspected heroin, gloves, and distribution paraphernalia, including packaging materials, blenders, and multiple cell phones. Wilfredo Torres and Donte Spence were in Room 238. A cousin of Eleam was in Room 305 bagging the suspected heroin in exchange for payment. The drugs recovered from both rooms tested positive for a total of approximately 200 grams of furanyl fentanyl and heroin.

Eleam had departed the Days Inn just prior to the execution of the search warrant, and returned to the hotel as the search warrant was being executed. When officers searched both his person and vehicle following the execution of the search warrant, a small amount of marijuana and related paraphernalia were recovered.

Judge Fischer scheduled sentencing for March 7, 2019. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than 20 years in prison, a fine of $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.

Pending sentencing, the court continued Eleam’s bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Shanicka L. Kennedy is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Department of Homeland Security, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Monroeville Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Eleam.

Updated October 16, 2018

Drug Trafficking