Northside Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug and Gun Charges

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

PITTSBURGH, PA – A former resident of Pittsburgh’s Northside neighborhood pleaded guilty in federal court to violating the federal narcotics and firearms laws, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

Brandon Washington, 35, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense before United States District Judge Robert Colville.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that in March 2021, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police narcotics agents working with the Drug Enforcement Administration utilized an undercover agent to purchase cocaine from Washington at a hotel in Pittsburgh’s Northside neighborhood. Agents executed search warrants on multiple hotel rooms thereafter, which led to the seizure of additional quantities of cocaine base (in the form commonly known as “crack”), drug paraphernalia commonly used to process cocaine into cocaine base, and a loaded .45 caliber pistol. By pleading guilty, Washington admitted that he distributed cocaine, possessed cocaine base with the intent to distribute it, and unlawfully possessed a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

Judge Colville scheduled sentencing for October 4, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than five years and up to 40 years in prison, a fine of up to $1,000,000, 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.

Pending sentencing, the court remanded Washington to the custody of the United States Marshals Service.

Assistant United States Attorney Michael R. Ball is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Washington.