U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Pennsylvania
September 28, 2015

Pittsburgh Man Pleads Guilty to Violating Federal Drug Laws

PITTSBURGH—A Pittsburgh resident pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute five kilograms grams or more of cocaine and 100 grams or more of heroin, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Cecil Pinnix, 46, pleaded guilty to two counts before United States District Judge Mark R. Hornak.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that in 2013, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies joined forces in a multi-agency wiretap investigation of drug trafficking and violence in the Homewood section of Pittsburgh. The interception of wire and electronic communications began in December 2013 and continued through the end of August 2014. The government had wiretaps on two of Cecil Pinnix’s phones, and Pinnix was intercepted over the wire conspiring with others to possess with intent to distribute and distribute cocaine, which was shipped from California to the Western District of Pennsylvania through the United States Postal Service or commercial carrier, and to possess with intent to distribute and distribute heroin, which he obtained in Ohio and transported to the Western District of Pennsylvania for further distribution.

Judge Hornak scheduled sentencing for Feb. 10, 2016. The law provides for a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison up to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a fine of not more than $10,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued the defendant’s detention.

Assistant United States Attorney Tonya Sulia Goodman is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force, Wilkinsburg Police Department, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, Munhall Police Department, Duquesne Police Department, Monroeville Police Department, Allegheny County Police Department, West Mifflin Police Department, Bellevue Police Department, and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Cecil Pinnix.

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