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United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania

08/06/2020 | Press release | Archived content

Pittsburgh Man Sentenced for Role in South Side Drug Trafficking Activity

PITTSBURGH, PA - A former resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was sentenced in federal court to 41 months in prison and three years of supervised release on his conviction of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

United States District Judge William S. Stickman, IV imposed sentence on Laffayette Fuller, 21.

According to information presented to the Court, in 2017, the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force initiated an investigation primarily targeting the Darccide/Smash 44, or DS44, neighborhood gang, and drug-trafficking activity in and around the South Side area of Pittsburgh. As part of this large-scale narcotics and firearms investigation, in February of 2019, the United States received authorization to conduct a federal wire investigation, which continued through June of 2019.

Intercepted communications revealed that Mr. Fuller was involved in the distribution of heroin and fentanyl, serving as a runner for co-conspirator Christopher Highsmith, facilitating drug transactions for Highsmith, and carrying a firearm in connection with his drug trafficking activities. The Court was further informed that as a condition of his guilty plea on March 2, 2020, the defendant accepted responsibility for distribution of 39 grams of fentanyl and heroin in the Pittsburgh area.

Assistant United States Attorneys Christy C. Wiegand and Brendan McKenna prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the multi-agency investigation of this case, which also included the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Allegheny County Adult Probation, Allegheny County Police Department, Allegheny County Sheriff's Office, Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office Bureau of Narcotics, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and the Wilkinsburg Police Department. Other assisting agencies include the Green Tree Police Department, New York City Police Department, Mount Oliver Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Yonkers Police Department, United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

The investigation was funded by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF). The OCDETF program supplies critical federal funding and coordination that allows federal and state agencies to work together to successfully identify, investigate, and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises.