U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Pennsylvania
March 13, 2015

Rankin Man Admits Conspiring to Distribute Heroin

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

Brandon McWright, 27, pleaded guilty to one count before Chief United States District Judge Joy Flowers Conti.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from in and around June 2013, and continuing thereafter to in and around May 2014, McWright conspired with others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance.

Judge Conti scheduled sentencing for July 9, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of up to 40 years in prison, a fine of $5,000,000, 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 Attorneys Amy L. Johnston and Cindy K. Chung 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 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, and the Pittsburgh Bureau of 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.

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