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Pittsburgh-area man facing federal meth conspiracy charges

Most people in Pittsburgh know that the federal government aggressive prosecutes those suspected of drug trafficking. With federal sentencing guidelines forcing courts to impose lengthy sentences in many cases, a drug charge in federal court can be very serious for residents of Pennsylvania.

One of the drugs federal authorities are most motivated to level charges over is methamphetamine. A Westmoreland County man is facing a charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in federal court after a recent indictment. The U.S. attorney prosecuting the case accuses him of working with a 78-year-old man from another state. The U.S. Attorney's office refused to release any details of its claims against the Westmoreland County man, who lives in Penn Township. All that is known about the case is that the charges came after a joint Drug Enforcement Administration and State Police.

Initially, the older man was arrested and brought to Pennsylvania to face state drug charges, as was the local man. Then the state charges against the Westmoreland County man, 57, were withdrawn and federal charges substituted. Both are out of custody on $20,000 bond.

The case still appears to be in the early stages. The older man's defense attorney said she did not know much about the charges against her client yet.

A conviction for conspiracy to sell methamphetamine could lead to years in prison, but criminal charges do not automatically lead to a conviction. An experienced defense attorney to provide a vigorous defense or possibly negotiate a plea agreement could make the difference.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Westmoreland man among two facing federal drug charges," Rich Lord, Dec. 5, 2012

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