Four Arrested on Federal Drug Charges
JOHNSTOWN, PA—Three Altoona men and a Johnstown resident have been arrested and charged in federal court with violating the federal drugs laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
The criminal complaint charges Shavoun Berry, aka Anthony, 39, of Altoona, Pa.; Terrance Sitton, 42 of Johnstown, Pa.; Darrin Canaan, aka Dirt, 35, of Altoona, Pa.; and Matthew Fee, 32, of Altoona, Pa., with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.
“With the arrest of these individuals, we have disrupted a significant drug trafficking organization that has been distributing significant quantities of illegal substances in Blair and Cambria counties over the last several months,” stated U.S. Attorney Hickton. “In fact, this case involves the largest seizure of packaged heroin in this part of Western Pennsylvania.”
“This case demonstrates the continued successful partnership of federal, state and local law enforcement in Western Pennsylvania,” said Special Agent in Charge Scott S. Smith of the FBI’s Pittsburgh Field Office. “Like our partners, the Pittsburgh Division of the FBI is committed to stopping the flow of heroin and improving the quality of life in the communities we serve.”
According to USA Hickton, the complaint alleges that, between January 2015 and April 17, investigating agents intercepted dozens of drug-related telephone calls and text messages on phones used by the defendants, conducted physical surveillance and employed other investigative tools. Agents determined that Berry is the leader of a large-scale illegal drug distribution operation in the Cambria and Blair Counties, and elsewhere, and conspired with Sitton, Canaan and Fee to distribute large quantities of illegal drugs in the Western District of Pennsylvania.
According to the complaint, in the past few days, Berry arranged for Sitton to travel to Berry’s supplier in New York and retrieve a large quantity of illegal drugs. On April 17, at approximately 5:40 a.m., Sitton traveled from Western Pennsylvania to New York to retrieve what was believed to be a large quantity of cocaine. During the search of the suspect vehicle pursuant to the search warrant, an extremely well-concealed false compartment, or “trap,” was located in the rear portion of the Jeep. Upon entry into the trap, in excess of 300 bricks of heroin (more than 15,000 stamp bags) were located.
Berry was previously convicted in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on drug trafficking charges. He is currently on federal supervised release.
The defendants will appear in federal court in Johnstown on Wednesday for detention hearings before Federal Magistrate Judge Keith A. Pesto.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence at each count of at least five years and up to 40 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
A criminal complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant may not be prosecuted unless, within 30 days, a grand jury has found probable cause to believe that he is guilty of an offense.
Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Haines is prosecuting this case. Special agents of the FBI, and member of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, the Cambria County Drug Task Force, the Altoona Police Department and the Cambria County District Attorney’s Office, conducted the investigation that led to the complaint against these individuals.