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Press Release

Wilkinsburg Man Sentenced in “SCO” Gang Drug Trafficking Case

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

PITTSBURGH, PA - A former resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has been sentenced in federal court on convictions of narcotics trafficking, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

On December 1, 2020, Senior United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab imposed the sentence of eight years of imprisonment, followed by eight years of supervised release, on Justin Law, 31, formerly of Wilkinsburg, PA.

According to information presented to the Court, the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force conducted a long-term investigation of drug trafficking occurring in and around the Braddock section of Pittsburgh. Law enforcement identified several individuals who were illegally distributing controlled substances in the Greater Pittsburgh Region, as members of a neighborhood-based street gang, self-titled "SCO" and whose leader was identified as Howard McFadden.

In January of 2019, investigators obtained authorization to conduct a federal wiretap investigation, which continued through May of 2019. As a result of this investigation, Law, along with 32 others were indicted in June of 2019 by a federal grand jury in three separate, but related, Indictments.

The Court was informed that intercepted communications confirmed that Law was conspiring with others to possess with intent to distribute and distribute heroin and is an associate of one of the main members of the conspiracy and of "SCO." The Court was further informed that Law was a fugitive from June 12, 2019, when law enforcement executed numerous federal arrest and search warrants, until October 3, 2019, when he was arrested by the United States Marshals Western District of Pennsylvania Fugitive Task Force.

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

United States Attorney Brady commended the multi-agency team, which was led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Law. Partners in this investigation 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 included the Monroeville Police Department, Penn Hills Police Department, Wilkinsburg Police Department, and Allegheny County Adult Probation.

This case is part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program, known as OCDETF. OCDETF was established in 1982 to support comprehensive investigations and prosecutions of major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. It is the keystone of the drug reduction strategy of the Department of Justice. By combining the resources and expertise of federal agencies and their state and local law enforcement partners, OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the most serious drug trafficking, money laundering, and transnational criminal organizations.

Updated December 3, 2020

Drug Trafficking