Elizabeth Man Sentenced to Prison for Distributing Drugs Supplied by DS44 Gang Members

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

PITTSBURGH – A resident of Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to 68 months’ imprisonment and three years’ supervised release on his conviction of violating federal narcotics and firearms laws, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

United States District Judge William S. Stickman, IV imposed the sentence on Dontae Gilbert, age 21, of Elizabeth, Pennsylvania. Gilbert is one of 40 defendants charged in the Indictment and Superseding Indictment returned in the case.

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 its drug-trafficking activity in and around the South Side area of Pittsburgh. Gilbert was identified as a low-level distributor of heroin and fentanyl supplied by members of the organization. During the investigation, agents executed a search warrant on April 12, 2019, of Gilbert’s residence and found him in possession of 13 stamp bags containing a mixture of heroin and fentanyl, a loaded pistol, and drug packaging and weighing materials.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Stickman emphasized the very serious nature of the defendant’s conduct and the scourge that heroin and fentanyl trafficking has had on the larger community. In imposing the minimum sentence, the court recognized Gilbert’s youth, supportive family, and his genuine desire to educate himself while serving his sentence and to start a productive life upon release.

Assistant United States Attorneys Carolyn J. Bloch and Brendan J. 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.

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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.