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Press Release

Windgap Man Pleads Guilty In DEA-Led Cocaine Trafficking Investigation

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

PITTSBURGH - A Pittsburgh resident pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Mark Lawson, 39, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from in and around December 2000, and continuing thereafter to in and around March 2013, in the Western District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere, Lawson conspired with others to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.

Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing for April 23, 2014, at 10 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than 20 years and up to life 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.

Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan B. Ortiz is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Pennsylvania State Attorney General's Office, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and the Allegheny County District Attorney's Narcotics Enforcement Team conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Mark Lawson.

Updated July 14, 2015