PITTSBURGH – A former resident of the City of Pittsburgh pleaded guilty in federal court to a violation of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (commonly known as RICO), Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.
Richard Kelly, 26, formerly of the Pittsburgh’s Hill District neighborhood, pleaded guilty to one count of RICO conspiracy before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon.
In connection with the guilty plea, Mr. Kelly acknowledged that he was a member of the violent street gang known as “11 Hunnit,” which operated in the Hill District neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Mr. Kelly acknowledged that he, along with alleged codefendants Sydney Pack, Dionte Griffin, and others, conspired to conduct and participate in the conduct in the affairs of the 11 Hunnit gang through a pattern of racketeering activity consisting generically of acts involving murder, robbery, and the distribution of controlled substances. Mr. Kelly acknowledged his personal participation in certain overt acts that were done in furtherance of the RICO conspiracy, which included a June 2015 incident wherein Mr. Kelly was in a stolen vehicle with other gang members where police found numerous stamp bags of heroin and a stolen firearm previously used in a shooting; an incident in October 2016 wherein Mr. Kelly and another 11 Hunnit member conspired to rob an unknown person in the Hill District neighborhood; and two shootings on December 4, 2016.
Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing for August 12, 2021, at 2:15 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not more than twenty years in prison, a fine of not more than $250,000, 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. Pending sentencing, the court remanded Mr. Kelly 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, together with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Mr. Kelly. This prosecution is a result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles high-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten communities throughout the United States. OCDETF uses a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.