York, PA Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing a Kilo of Cocaine following a U.S. Postal Service Investigation

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

PITTSBURGH, PA — A resident of York, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal narcotic laws, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

Shaiquane Harrison, age 26, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge William S. Stickman.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on February 26, 2021, the United States Postal Service identified a suspicious parcel that was addressed to a residence in Monessen, Pennsylvania. A drug canine alerted to the presence of a controlled substance, and law enforcement obtained a federal search warrant for the parcel. The resulting search revealed that the parcel contained approximately one kilogram of cocaine.

Subsequently, law enforcement conducted a controlled delivery operation of the parcel on March 1, 2021. Approximately 30 minutes after delivery, Harrison arrived in a rental vehicle. Surveillance observed Harrison interact with a cell phone in a blue and white case before retrieving the parcel and returning to the rental vehicle.

Law enforcement then followed Harrison to another residence in Monessen, Pennsylvania. The defendant entered the residence, and law enforcement observed that an electronic transmitting device within the parcel stopped transmitting. Suspecting that the contents of the parcel were being destroyed, law enforcement entered the residence.

Upon entry, law enforcement observed Harrison, who had pieces of the opened parcel in his hands, flee from the residence. Law enforcement observed Harrison briefly stop at a shed behind the residence prior to jumping a fence. During a protective sweep, officers found a cell phone with a blue and white case outside the shed. A tire inside the shed contained a loaded 9mm caliber handgun. A federal search warrant on the recovered cell phone revealed texts putting Harrison on notice that the parcel was sent. The cellular phone also reflected that Harrison searched the parcel tracking number, which provided him with the delivery date.

Judge Stickman scheduled sentencing for July 8, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. The law provides for a term of imprisonment of not less than five years to a maximum of 40 years in prison, a fine of $5,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued Harrison on bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Brendan J. McKenna is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Postal Service conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Harrison.