Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced on August 12th that 31 people – 29 residents of Cambria, Indiana, Allegheny, Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania, one resident of Long Beach, California, and one resident of Middletown, Delaware, – have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Johnstown on a charge of violating federal narcotics laws. Locally, Gina Petrucci, 51, of Conshohocken, was among those indicted.
According to the notice, the Indictment charges all defendants with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute the following from April 2019 to July 2021, in the Western District of Pennsylvania.
- One kilogram or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of heroin
- Five kilograms or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine
- 280 grams or more of a mixture and substance continuing a detectable amount of cocaine base, in the form commonly known as crack
- 400 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl
- 50 grams or more of methamphetamine
- 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, from April 2019 to July 2021, in the Western District of Pennsylvania.
“Through this indictment, we have dismantled a major drug trafficking organization operating in Johnstown and beyond,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Kaufman. “Restoring safe and drug-free neighborhoods for the law-abiding citizens in our communities remains our singular goal. Today we took another important step in that effort.”
“The suspects arrested today thought they could come into a small community like Johnstown, set up shop and then leave without a trace,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall. “The FBI’s Southwest Pennsylvania Safe Streets Task Force is combining all our strengths to tackle the drug problem as a team. Groups that have been a menace for years are being stopped so our neighborhoods can reclaim their identities.”
“Drugs ruin families, communities and lives. The defendants preyed on drug addicts in Pennsylvania for their own greed without any remorse for the lives they destroyed,” said David Abbate, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations – Pittsburgh. “Today’s arrests send a resounding message that HSI Special Agents are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to aggressively uncover, dismantle and disrupt criminal organizations who conspire to distribute illicit drugs.”
“Drug trafficking is a dangerous and violent enterprise,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “These traffickers were in possession of multiple deadly firearms while peddling more than 150,000 doses of fentanyl/heroin and other drugs for a profit. Thanks to the collaborative work with our local and federal law enforcement partners, 37 arrests warrants were issued to take down this drug trafficking operation. My office will continue to work with our partners to shut down these organizations — wherever they’re found.”
Cambria District Attorney Greg Neugebauer added, “This is a perfect example of the critical partnership between federal, state, and local law enforcement. The collaborative work between agencies helps protect the citizens of Cambria County, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the United States as a whole. I thank the men and women who worked tirelessly and effectively used resources to orchestrate this operation that holds individuals who pollute our streets with drugs accountable. We will continue to fight every day to make our community the safest possible place to live, work and play. I am tremendously proud of this effort and look forward to seeing the dividends that are paid for our area.”
“Each and every day, members of our county are negatively impacted by the scourge of narcotics trafficking,” said Indiana County District Attorney Robert Manzi. “Crimes such as thefts, DUIs, assaults and even murder are committed for the sole purpose of obtaining money to buy more drugs. Cooperative efforts between local, state and federal law enforcement that focus our collective efforts on stopping large scale drug trafficking operations help everyone in our community. My office is committed to working with our partner agencies to stop these drug trafficking operations. We thank Acting U.S. Attorney Steve Kaufman, Cambria County District Attorney Greg Neugebauer, members of the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, ATF, Pennsylvania State Police, Indiana Borough Police and the Indiana County Drug Task Force for working together to make our county safer.”
The statue calls for a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years of incarceration. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.