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Penn Hills man among trio arrested on heroin-trafficking charges

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Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 5:06 p.m.
 

A Penn Hills man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for his part in a heroin-trafficking operation.

Senior United States District Judge Donetta Ambrose sentenced Gary Moorefield, 45, of Lindberg Avenue, along with Dequillarae Zellous of Pittsburgh and David Michael Jones of Wilkinsburg, for violating federal narcotics trafficking laws.

The trio pleaded guilty in September, when wiretap investigations revealed that Moorefield obtained heroin in kilogram quantities one to two times per week from a supplier in the New York/New Jersey area.

Moorefield would supply a courier with large sums of money, often more than $100,000, to obtain heroin from the supplier, which prosecutors said the courier would meet in either Newark, N.J. or New York City. The courier would then deliver the heroin to either Moorefield's residence on Lindberg Avenue, or his penthouse apartment at the Racquet Club Apartments in Monroeville.

Prosecutors said Moorefield would then contact his distributors, Zellous and Jones, and arrange to meet with and supply them with the heroin.

On Aug. 11, 2012, federal agents seized $103,000 from Moorefield's courier en route to the New York/New Jersey area. Just over a month later, federal agents in New Jersey seized $89,000 which Moorefield personally delivered to his New York City heroin source. Five days after that, they executed a search warrant on the Lindberg Avenue property and found $72,000, a bulletproof vest and four loaded guns.

Testimony during the trio's trial revealed that an Everett Street home in Wilkinsburg, where a burglary was reported in August 2009, was in fact a “stash house” for Moorefield. Once inside, officers discovered an assault rifle, about 25,000 empty glassine packets or “stamp bags” commonly used to package heroin, digital scales and other heroin-packaging materials. Testimony revealed that between $500,000 and $1 million was taken from the residence during the burglary.

Zellous and Jones were both sentenced to 10 years in prison. Moorefield was also sentenced on firearms charges related to the weapons found during the execution of police search warrants on his home.

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