U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Pennsylvania
May 15, 2015

Fourteen Charged with Violating Federal Drug and Gun Laws

PITTSBURGH—Following a multi-agency investigation into drug trafficking in Clairton, Pa., 14 people – 13 residents of Pennsylvania and one resident of New Jersey – have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of violating federal narcotics and firearms laws. The charges are contained in six separate, but related, indictments returned on May 12, 2015, and unsealed today.

“Through this investigation, which utilized Title III intercepts of cellular telephones, surveillance, controlled drug purchases, and other investigate techniques, we identified a number overlapping and interrelated violent drug distribution networks operating in Clairton, McKeesport, Washington County, Westmoreland County and New Jersey,” stated U.S. Attorney Hickton. “Our work to ensure that law abiding citizens have safe streets and peaceful neighborhoods continues.”

“The arrests today demonstrate, once again, 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. “The Pittsburgh Division of the FBI remains committed to stopping the flow of illegal drugs and improving the quality of life in the communities we serve.”

“One of our primary obligations is keeping our communities safe, and I applaud the work of our OAG agents and the FBI for their great work in this endeavor,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane added.

THE INDICTMENTS

The first indictment, containing four counts, names:

Jarran Bell, 34, aka Screw, formerly of McKeesport, PA, currently incarcerated;
Krystle Barretto, 29, aka Krystal Barretto, of McKeesport, PA;
Amanda Santiago, 23, aka Mandy Santiago, of Jersey City, NJ; and
Donald Mitchell, 34, aka Don Mitchell, aka Curly Top, of New Eagle, PA.

According to the indictment, from in and around January 2015, and continuing thereafter to in and around April 2015, the defendants conspired with one another to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin; Jarran Bell, Krystle Barretto and Amanda Santiago are each charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin; and Jarran Bell and Krystle Barretto are each charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute less than 100 grams of heroin and possess of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

The law provides for maximum total sentences ranging from up to 20 years in prison up to life in prison, as well as mandatory minimum sentences starting at five years in prison. Fines ranging from $250,000 to up to $20,000,000 may also apply.

The second indictment, containing one count, names:

Drake Cheadle, 22, aka Tootie, of Clairton, PA;
Oscar Woods, Jr., 51, of Clairton, PA;
Franklin Spence, III, 20, of McKeesport, PA;
Isaac Love, 23, of Clairton, PA;
Heidi Welsh, 27, of Connellsville, PA; and
Vance Gibson, 38, aka G-Hype. of Clairton, PA.

According to the indictment, from in and around October 2014, and continuing thereafter to in and around May 2015, the defendants conspired with one another to possess with intent to distribute and distribute one kilogram or more of heroin (except for Welsh).

The law provides for a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, up to life in prison, a fine of up to $20,000,000, or both.

The third indictment, containing one count, names:

Bradley Dawkins, aka B-Dawk, 26, of Clairton, PA.

According to the indictment, on or about April 1, 2015, Dawkins, being a convicted felon, illegally possessed an Intratec, Model TECDC9, 9mm caliber pistol. Federal law prohibits anyone who has been convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year to possess a firearm.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of up to ten years in prison or up to life in prison, as well as the possibility of a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, depending on the defendant’s prior criminal history. A fine of up to $250,000 may also apply.

The fourth indictment, containing one count, named:

Skylar Simmons, aka Bo, aka Bo Bo, of Clairton, PA.

According to the indictment, in and around March 2015, Simmons, being a convicted felon, illegally possessed a Ruger, Model P97, .45 caliber pistol. Federal law prohibits anyone who has been convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year to possess a firearm.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of up to ten years in prison or up to life in prison, as well as the possibility of a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, depending on the defendant’s prior criminal history. A fine of up to $250,000 may also apply.

The fifth indictment, containing one count, names:

Kelli Johnson, 36, of Clairton, PA.

According to the indictment, from in and around December 2014, and continuing thereafter to in and around March 2015, Johnson conspired with others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base, in the form commonly known as crack.

The law provides for a mandatory minimum of five years and up to a maximum total sentence of 40 years in prison, a fine of up to $8,000,000, or both.

The sixth indictment, containing two counts, names:

Tyler Hurt, 22, aka Boski, of Clairton, PA.

According to the indictment, from in and around February 2014, and continuing thereafter to in and around April 2015, Hurt conspired with others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin. Additionally, on or about April 1, 2015, Hurt, being a convicted felon, illegally possessed an Intratec, Model TECDC9, 9mm caliber pistol.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of up to 20 years in prison or up to life in prison, as well as the possibility of a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, depending on the defendant’s prior criminal history. A fine ranging from $250,000 up to $2,000,000 may also apply.

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. Assistant United States Attorneys Amy L. Johnston and Ross E. Lenhardt are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

A federally administered Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case. The task force is headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is comprised of members drawn from the FBI Greater Pittsburgh Safe Street Task Force including the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, Clairton Police Department, Wilkinsburg Police Department, West Mifflin Police Department, Allegheny County Police Department, Duquesne Police Department, Munhall Police Department, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and the Pennsylvania State Police. The OCDETF program supplies critical federal funding and coordination that allows federal and state agencies to work together to successfully identify, investigate, and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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