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Guilty plea to heroin possession leads to 5-year sentence

Five and a half years, approximately, is what a Pittsburgh-area man will spend in prison after pleading guilty to federal drug conspiracy charges. The 20-year-old man was arrested in 2009, along with four others, by Pennsylvania State Police and later charged with conspiracy to distribute 100 to 400 grams of heroin. All five individuals have now entered guilty pleas to the federal drug charges but the man is the only one who has yet been sentenced.

A conspiracy is, simply put, an agreement between at least two people to commit a crime. A conspiracy charge will often accompany other criminal charges. If you are found to be a co-conspirator, you can be held responsible not only for your actions, but also for those of your co-conspirators.

According to his own testimony, the man was bringing the heroin to the Pittsburgh area from New Jersey via the Pennsylvania Turnpike. He and the four defendants had intended to distribute and sell the heroin near where they lived in Pittsburgh, he said.

When the group was arrested by state police, an initial search of the car turned up 75 grams of heroin and $20,000. A subsequent search revealed another 150 grams of heroin along with a .45 caliber handgun. Testimony was given during sentencing that the man had acquired the heroin by paying another person $5,000 to rob a New Jersey dealer using the gun.

Drug trafficking and drug conspiracy cases require a thorough investigation of the evidence by an experienced criminal defense attorney. Federal drug charges are very likely to be aggressively prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's office for the area involved.

Source: Fox 43, "Heroin dealer who used PA Turnpike sentenced," Paul Smith, February 3, 2012

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