PITTBSURGH – A former resident of Monroeville, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to violating the federal narcotics and firearms laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Alexander Bishop Cole, age 38 pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert J. Colville to a three-count Information charging him at two of the counts with possessing fentanyl with the intent to distribute it on June 30, 2017. The third count of the Information charged Cole, a felon previously convicted in 2009 of federal narcotics and firearms law violations in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, with unlawfully possessing a firearm and ammunition on June 30, 2017. Federal law prohibits a person with a prior felony conviction from possessing a firearm or ammunition.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on June 30, 2017, detectives with the Monroeville Police Department performed a traffic stop on a vehicle occupied by Cole – a subsequent search of Cole’s person revealed ten “bricks” of fentanyl, which was packaged for resale. A subsequent search of Cole’s apartment revealed additional quantities of fentanyl, fentanyl packaging materials, and a .40 caliber Browning Arms pistol, and assorted ammunition.
Judge Colville scheduled sentencing for January 20, 2021, at 1:30 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than five years and up to 40 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $5,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history of the defendant.
Pending sentencing, the court remanded Cole to the custody of the United States Marshals Service.
Assistant United States Attorney Jerome A. Moschetta is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Monroeville Police Department, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Cole.