Skip to main content
Press Release

Wilmerding Drug Trafficker Will Spend 8+ Years in Prison for Possessing Large Amounts of a Heroin/Fentanyl Mixture Sourced from New York City

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

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – A former resident of Wilmerding, PA, was sentenced to eight years and four months (100 months) in federal prison and six years of supervised release for possessing with the intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Ronnell Lawrence, 31, was sentenced on October 8, 2019, before United States District Judge David Cercone. Lawrence has been detained since his initial appearance in federal court and will continued to be detained as he starts to serve his sentence.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on July 10, 2017, Rondell Lawrence drove his brother and co-defendant, Ronnell Lawrence to the Greyhound Bus Station in downtown Pittsburgh. Ronnell Lawrence then boarded a bus bound for New York City. Ronnell Lawrence returned to Pittsburgh after spending only one hour in New York City. On July 11, 2017, Rondell Lawrence returned to the Greyhound Bus Station to pick up his brother. Investigators observed Ronnell putting a large camouflage backpack into the back of the Nissan Pathfinder. Investigators later stopped the Nissan Pathfinder for having an expired registration. A subsequent search of the vehicle and the camouflage bag placed there by Ronnell revealed eight large bags of suspected heroin and fentanyl and a bus ticket to New York City. The Drug Enforcement Agency Laboratory later tested the substances seized from the bag and revealed that the substances were approximately 390 grams of a heroin/fentanyl mixture.

Co-defendant Rondell Lawrence was previously sentenced to five years (60 months) incarceration on the same charge.

Assistant United States Attorney Timothy M. Lanni is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Narcotics Enforcement Team (DANET), Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and North Versailles Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the guilty pleas and sentences in this case.

Updated October 10, 2019

Drug Trafficking