Press Release

Joint Investigation by Office of Attorney General, Federal and Local Law Enforcement Leads to Arrest of 9 Involved in Heroin Distribution

June 7, 2017 | Topic: Criminal

PITTSBURGH — Attorney General Josh Shapiro commended the result of a joint investigation by the Office of Attorney General, the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania, leading to the arrest of 9 individuals in the Greater Pittsburgh area on charges of violating federal narcotics and firearms laws. The arrests were announced earlier today by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

This case was initiated by the Office of Attorney General’s Organized Crime Section and the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Violent Crimes Task Force and initially focused on gang violence and heroin distribution occurring primarily within the Hill District of the City of Pittsburgh. The investigation expanded into a drug trafficking organization investigation, which is still ongoing.

“Today’s arrests highlight how critically important collaboration across law enforcement is to stemming the flow of this poison into our communities,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “Strengthening our office’s relationships with both federal and local partners has been an important priority since I took office and I’m glad that work is already helping to strengthen public safety here in our Commonwealth.”

The arrests were the result of a lengthy narcotics investigation by agents of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Federal Bureau of Investigation, detectives from the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, Allegheny County Police, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department.

“This case, compelled by the threat of gang activity in the Hill District, illustrates the effective partnership among local, state and federal law enforcement in Western Pennsylvania,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song. “We are allied in the effort to disrupt drug trafficking organizations, stem the flow of heroin and opioids and reduce violence in our communities. Cooperation with the offices of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala made these charges possible.”

Four of the 9 individuals included in the indictment were already incarcerated. Arrest warrants were executed this morning.

“We extend our gratitude and thanks to U.S. Attorney Soo Song and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, the FBI, Allegheny County and Pittsburgh law enforcement and every local department and agency that assisted us in our joint efforts to get these drug dealers off our streets,” Attorney General Shapiro said.

According to the indictment, from in and around November 2015, and continuing thereafter to in and around September 2016, the following defendants conspired with one another to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin:

  • Angelo Massie, 39, formerly of Penn Hills, PA, currently incarcerated
  • Raheem Buchanan, 32, formerly of Pittsburgh, PA, currently incarcerated
  • Lamont Butler, 45, formerly of Munhall, PA, currently incarcerated
  • Mark Watson, 43, of Pittsburgh, PA
  • Thomas Grace, 33, of McKees Rocks, PA
  • Jason Green, 35, of Wilkinsburg, PA
  • Jermaine Thompson, 31, of Pittsburgh, PA

According to the indictment, from in and around November 2015, and continuing thereafter to in and around January 2016, the following defendants conspired with one another to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 100 grams or more of heroin:

  • Robert Fields, Jr., 23, of Pittsburgh, PA
  • Norman Blackwell, 42, formerly of Pittsburgh, PA, currently incarcerated
  • All defendants will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Pittsburgh.

All defendants will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Pittsburgh.

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