For Immediate Release
McKeesport Man Sentenced to 5+ Years in Prison for Violating Federal Drug and Gun Laws
PITTSBURGH, PA – A resident of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to five years and three months in prison, followed by five years’ supervised release, on his conviction of violating federal narcotics and firearms laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer imposed the sentence on Isaiah Pridgen, 21.
According to information presented to the court, Pridgen possessed with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance, and possessed a firearm in furtherance of said drug trafficking crime. On November 19, 2016, McKeesport police officers stopped a car in which Pridgen was a passenger. Officers ordered Pridgen out of the vehicle, and as he exited, Pridgen forcefully shoved an officer and fled. In pursuit, officers saw Pridgen throw an object later identified to be a loaded .45 caliber Taurus pistol. Pridgen was eventually apprehended, and officers located 100 stamp bags of heroin in his pocket.
Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Fischer stated that the defendant’s actions in dealing opiates is "deadly as any pistol" and that those actions created a "substantial risk of harm to the community." Judge Fischer noted that the defendant had a significant juvenile criminal history for Assault, Theft, Guns and Drugs, making the current indictment at the age of 19 even more serious. Judge Fischer praised the support of the defendant’s family and friends, noted that violating her federal sentence could have "big consequences," and told the defendant to "make good on this last chance."
At sentencing, Assistant United States Attorney Ross E. Lenhardt argued that the dollar sign tattoo on the defendant’s face and his lack of prior employment showed that the defendant’s clear motive for dealing drugs was greed. Assistant United States Attorney Heidi M. Grogan was the lead prosecutor on this matter for the government. This case was prosecuted under Project Safe Neighborhoods, a collaborative effort by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and communities to prevent, deter and prosecute gun crime.
United States Attorney Brady commended the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, and the McKeesport Police Department for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Pridgen.