PITTSBURGH – A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has been sentenced in federal court to 30 months’ imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release on his conviction for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.
United States District Judge William S. Stickman, IV imposed the sentence on Robert Howard, 35, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
According to information presented to the court, Howard conspired to distribute and possessed with intent to distribute heroin from June of 2019 through December of 2019. In 2019 the Federal Bureau of Investigation began investigating a heroin trafficking organization operating throughout the greater Pittsburgh area of which Howard was a member. Beginning in July of 2019 and continuing through August of 2019, the FBI initiated a Title III wiretap investigation into the organization. Howard was intercepted communicating with his codefendant about acquiring quantities of heroin, prices of heroin, and the purity of the heroin. Through extensive physical and electronic surveillance, Howard was observed meeting with his codefendant to conduct heroin transactions. Judge Stickman referenced the seriousness of the offense as well as Howard’s criminal history.
Assistant United States Attorney Mark V. Gurzo prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
Acting United States Attorney Kaufman commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, the Allegheny County Police Department, the Stowe Township Police Department, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, the Office of the Attorney General, the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, the North Versailles Police Department, the Allegheny County Port Authority Police Department, the Munhall Police Department, and the Pennsylvania State Police for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Howard.
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.