Two Clearfield County Men Plead Guilty in Operation Return to Sender Meth Case | USAO-WDPA

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PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Two residents of Penfield, Pa., have each pleaded guilty in federal court to violating federal narcotics laws related to a nine-month Title III wiretap investigation into drug trafficking in and around of Jefferson, Clearfield and Allegheny Counties, United States Attorney. Cindy Chung announced it today.

Terry Kelly, 48, and Jason Whitaker, 60, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine before United States District Judge. United States Christy Criswell Wiegand. Kelly and Whitaker were two of 47 defendants charged in six related indictments in the Return to Sender investigation.

As part of the guilty plea, the court was told that on April 21, 2021, investigators received information that couriers were transporting a large amount of methamphetamine from Houston, Texas to Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. Investigators obtained a search warrant and seized over ten kilograms of pure methamphetamine from a truck parked in the parking lot of the Red Roof Inn in Clearfield County. Investigators determined that the methamphetamine was destined for a residence shared by Kelly and Whitaker.

Judge Wiegand has scheduled sentencing of Whitaker for August 25, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. and Kelly for August 25, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. The law provides for a maximum aggregate sentence of at least 10 years with a maximum of life imprisonment . imprisonment, a fine not exceeding $10,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based on the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court ordered that the two defendants remain on bail.

Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan D. Lusty and Michael R. Ball are pursuing this case on behalf of the government.

The Drug Enforcement Administration led the multi-agency investigation into this case, which also included Homeland Security Investigations, United States Postal Service – Office of Inspector General, United States Postal Inspection Service, Internal Revenue Services, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police , Allegheny County Police and Pennsylvania State Police. The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, Clearfield County District Attorney’s Office and Clarion Borough Police Department also assisted.

This lawsuit is the result of an investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OECDTF). The OECDTF identifies, disrupts and dismantles high-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations that threaten communities across the United States. The OECDTF employs a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

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