Jury Finds Storeowner and Felon Dealer Guilty of Conspiring to Distribute Heroin
PITTSBURGH—After deliberating for three hours, a federal jury of four men and eight women found two Pittsburgh-area men guilty of five counts of drug and firearms related offenses, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Richard Bush, 52, formerly of Madonna Street in Pittsburgh, Pa., 15221, and Mayank Mishra, 35, formerly of Middle Road in Glenshaw, Pa., 15116, were tried before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon in Pittsburgh over the course of three weeks.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway and Donovan Cocas, who prosecuted the case, the evidence presented at trial established that Richard Bush supplied heroin to members of a violent street gang called the East Hills Bloods, who operated out of the East Hills section of Pittsburgh. A search warrant executed at his home on March 14, 2012, led to the seizure of more than 9,000 stamp bags of heroin and a cache of firearms, including a sawed-off shotgun, secreted throughout his home. Mishra participated in the heroin distribution conspiracy by supplying stamp bags and material used to dilute heroin to Bush and numerous other Pittsburgh area heroin dealers for more than a decade at his Rock America store, which was operated out of the Northway Mall. Search warrants executed at Rock America and at Mishra’s home on Feb. 26, 2013, led to the seizure of more than two million stamp bags, which, if filled with heroin, would have amounted to more than 75 kilograms of heroin. Federal agents also seized a vast inventory of materials used to dilute heroin and more than $900,000 in cash, which the jury forfeited to the United States as proceeds of his crimes.
Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing hearings for both defendants on April 6, 2016. The law provides for a total sentence of life in prison for both defendants. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based on the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
The Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Bush and Mishra. The Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force consists of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Wilkinsburg Police Department, Allegheny County Police Department, Oakdale Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force also received assistance in this case from the Pennsylvania State Police.