Penn Hills man faces additional charges in alleged drug-trafficking ring
A superseding federal indictment has tacked on additional money laundering and weapons counts for a Penn Hills man and nine others charged in an alleged drug-trafficking scheme, U.S. Justice Department officials announced on Friday.
The four-count superseding indictment named, among otheres, John Saban, 51, of Penn Hills.
Saban and other defendants, both from the Pittsburgh area and from Georgia, are charged with conspiracy to distribute five kilograms of cocaine. Saban is accused of conspiring to help launder the proceeds.
Investigators assigned to an interagency task force in Los Angeles intercepted Saban on July 14, 2011, when he showed up at a Federal Express facility in Van Nuys, Calif., to pick up a package containing about $32,000, according to an affidavit by DEA Special Agent Kevin Black.
Saban told investigators that the money was to hire entertainers for Pittsburgh area clubs, but he couldn't provide them with the names of any clubs, the affidavit said. A subsequent search of Saban's 2011 Ford Explorer turned up another $252,000, according to the affidavit.
From further intercepted packages and phone taps, the investigators determined that Saban was running a cocaine trafficking ring that used Federal Express and UPS to bring in cocaine from Las Vegas, the affidavit says.
The superseding indictment alleges that on or about March 16, 2012, Saban carried a firearm during and in relation to drug-trafficking crime. Saban faces the possibility of 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine, or both.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.