PITTSBURGH – A resident of Phoenix, Arizona has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh with charges of attempting to violate federal narcotics laws and being a felon in possession of a firearm, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.
The two-count Indictment named Juan Paredes, 26, as the sole defendant.
According to the Indictment, on January 28, 2021, Paredes attempted to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. Additionally, from January 23 to 29, 2021, Paredes, a convicted felon, was also alleged to be in possession of a firearm and ammunition in violation of federal law.
Prior federal and state court filings allege that a package containing approximately one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of crystal methamphetamine was mailed to a residence in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. Law enforcement seized the methamphetamine, replaced it with a non-controlled substance of similar appearance, sprayed fluorescent powder inside the package that is visible only with ultraviolet light, and delivered it to the residence. Paredes allegedly took the package into the residence, was found inside of the residence near the opened package and had the fluorescent powder on his hands and face when inspected with ultraviolet light. The package was submitted for testing and found to have a net weight of over 890 grams of which approximately 96% is methamphetamine hydrochloride.
The law provides for a minimum total sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison, a fine of $10,000,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Ira M. Karoll is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The United States Postal Inspection Service, Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General’s Drug Task Force, Cranberry Township Police Department, and Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.