Felon Pleads Guilty to Distributing Fentanyl and Heroin and Illegally Possessing Firearms and Ammunition

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

PITTBURGH, PA — A resident of Rankin, Pennsylvania pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal firearm and narcotic laws, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

Royal Lee Griffin, age 32, pleaded guilty to three counts before United States District Judge William S. Stickman in connection with two instances.

In the first matter, the court was advised that on August 24, 2018, Griffin possessed two firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon. Federal law prohibits an individual who has been convicted of a felony from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Also on August 24, 2018, Griffin possessed with intent to distribute fentanyl and heroin. Those offenses were uncovered after a search of his person and the vehicle he occupied by the White Oak Police Department.

In the second matter, the Court was advised that Allegheny County Police detectives working on a violence suppression detail observed Griffin in the Mon View Heights housing complex concealing a firearm. When the detectives approached Griffin, they found the firearm on Griffin’s person. Griffin has multiple felony convictions, including Aggravated Assault, Robbery, Carrying Firearms Without a License, and escape, and he is therefore precluded from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.


Judge Stickman scheduled sentencing for September 15, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. The law provides for a term of imprisonment not more than ten years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Allegheny County Police, White Oak Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Griffin.