For Immediate Release
Miami, FL Man Pleads Guilty in Large-Scale Cocaine Trafficking Scheme
PITTSBURGH - A resident of Miami, FL pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiring to distribute kilograms of cocaine, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Sebastian Velasquez, age 29, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine before Senior United States District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from October 2017 through July 2018, Velasquez and his co-conspirators conspired to distribute between 50 to 150 kilograms of cocaine in the Western District of Pennsylvania. Velasquez’s co-conspirators obtained the supply of cocaine and physically transported kilograms of cocaine via bus from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh roughly twice a month for the nine-month period. In connection with this investigation, the United States seized nearly $8,000,000 in cash and other assets; 42 kilograms of cocaine; 12 kilograms of fentanyl; three kilograms of heroin; and 121 grams of oxycodone.
Velasquez’s co-defendants,Moussa Jabateh and Danny Jackson, both plead guilty in October and are awaiting sentencing.
Senior Judge Ambrose scheduled sentencing for on March 19, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than 10 years and up to life in prison, a fine of $10,000,00, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Pending sentencing, the court continued the defendant’s bond.
Assistant United States Attorneys Tonya Sulia Goodman and Mark V. Gurzo are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force, which includes the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, the Wilkinsburg Police Department, and the Allegheny County Adult Probation Office, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Velasquez.