PITTSBURGH, PA – A resident of Pittsburgh pleaded guilty in federal court to violating the federal narcotics laws, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.
Nathaniel Thomas, 40, formerly of Pittsburgh, PA pleaded guilty to a two-count Indictment charging him with possessing over 100 grams of fentanyl, acetyl fentanyl (an analogue of fentanyl), and heroin, along with a quantity of cocaine, before United States District Judge Marilyn Horan.
In connection with the guilty plea, the Court was advised that in April 2019, the Pennsylvania State Police Drug Law Enforcement Division began an investigation into heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine distribution by Thomas. As part of that investigation, agents obtained a federal search warrant for Thomas’s residence on Coleridge Street in Pittsburgh, which was executed on May 29, 2019. Inside of Thomas’s bedroom, agents seized approximately 158 “bricks” – the equivalent of roughly 7,900 individual dosage units – containing mixtures of fentanyl, acetyl fentanyl (an analogue of fentanyl) and heroin. Agents also found roughly 40 grams of cocaine and a digital scale containing a white powder residue in the same area. By pleading guilty, Thomas admitted that he possessed those scheduled narcotics intending to distribute them. In a related filing, the government advised the Court that Thomas has a prior conviction for a serious drug felony offense arising out of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County (PA), and that the enhanced penalties set forth in the federal narcotics laws would, therefore, apply to Thomas.
Judge Horan scheduled sentencing for Sept. 14, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of incarceration of not less than fifteen years and up to life, a fine of not more than $20,000,000, 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 Thomas 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 Pennsylvania State Police Drug Law Enforcement Division conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Thomas.