Three Area Men Sentenced in Federal Court for Large-Scale Heroin Trafficking
A Wilkinsburg residence was used as a "stash house."
Three residents of the Pittsburgh area, including a man from Wilkinsburg, have been sentenced in federal court after being convicted of violating federal narcotics trafficking and firearms laws.
Senior U.S. District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose sentenced Gary Moorefield, 45, of 10434 Lindberg Ave., Penn Hills, to 25 years imprisonment followed by five years supervised release on his conviction of violating federal narcotics and firearms laws; Dequillarae Zellous, 39, of 3441 West Prospect St., Pittsburgh, to 10 years imprisonment followed by eight years supervised release on his conviction of violating federal narcotics trafficking laws; and David Michael Jones, 31, of 2134 Village Drive, Wilkinsburg, to 10 years imprisonment followed by eight years supervised release on his conviction of violating federal narcotics trafficking laws.
Moorefield, Zellous and Jones pleaded guilty on Sept. 7, 2012, several days into their anticipated lengthy trial. The investigation resulted in the prosecution of 10 individuals charged with conspiring to distribute large quantities of heroin.
According to information presented to the court, the investigation culminated in wiretaps on two cell phones utilized by Gary Moorefield. The wiretaps, conducted from the end of July 2010 through mid-September 2010, confirmed that Moorefield obtained kilogram quantities of heroin from a supplier in the New York/New Jersey area approximately one to two times per week through with the assistance of a courier.
Moorefield would supply his courier with large sums of U.S. currency, often in excess of $100,000 per trip, and the courier would travel to Newark, NJ, and/or New York City to obtain the heroin from the supplier.
The courier would then drive back to the Pittsburgh area and deliver the large quantities of heroin directly to Moorefield at either Moorefield’s Penn Hills residence or at his penthouse apartment located at the Racquet Club Apartments, 100 Oxford Dr., Monroeville. After receiving the heroin from his courier, Moorefield would contact his primary drug distributors, including Zellous and Jones, and arrange to meet the distributors to supply them with large quantities of heroin.
On Aug. 11, 2010, federal agents, working in conjunction with the Pennsylvania State Police, seized $103,000 in U.S. currency from Moorefield’s courier who was en route to meet with the heroin source in the New York/New Jersey area.
On Sept. 17, 2010, federal agents in New Jersey seized a bag containing $89,000 in U.S. currency that Moorefield personally delivered to the heroin source in New York City shortly before the seizure.
On Sept. 23, 2010, federal agents executed a search warrant at Moorefield’s Lindbergh Avenue residence. Inside the house, agents discovered approximately $72,000 in U.S. currency, a bulletproof vest and four loaded firearms.
Additionally, trial testimony revealed that on Aug. 29, 2009, officers with the Wilkinsburg Police Department responded to a reported burglary in progress at 1309 Everett St., Wilkinsburg. Once inside, officers observed an assault rifle and various other items of contraband in the ransacked home, including numerous glassine packets (a/k/a “stamp bags”) commonly used to package heroin for distribution.
A subsequent search of the residence resulted in the seizure more than 616 grams of heroin, a pistol, a sawed-off shotgun, two assault rifles, approximately 25,000 empty stamp bags and other heroin packaging material (e.g., digital scales used to weigh illegal drugs, as well as rubber ink stamps and ink pads used to stamp the stamp bags with a name or logo identifying a particular batch of heroin).
Testimony revealed that the residence was used as a "stash house" by Moorefield, and that between $500,000 to $1,000,000 was stolen from the residence during the burglary.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles A. Eberle and Troy Rivetti prosecuted this case on behalf of the government. U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton commended the federally administered Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Moorefield, Zellous and Jones.
The task force was headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration and was comprised of members drawn from Baldwin Borough Police, Allegheny County Sheriff's Office, Munhall Police, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Pennsylvania State Police, Duquesne Police, West Homestead Police, Allegheny County Police, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Assistance in the investigation was provided by Penn Hills police, Monroeville police, McKees Rocks police and the Wilkinsburg Police Department.