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Greensburg-based drug ring gets 2 men decades in prison

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Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Two men convicted in June of operating a multimillion-dollar drug ring based in Greensburg were sentenced on Friday to years in prison.

Visiting Senior Judge Paul H. Millin of Warren County sentenced James Moore, 26, of Smithton, who prosecutors said was the ringleader of the organization, to 20 to 40 years in prison.

Moore's top lieutenant, Dominick Haynes, 26, of McKeesport, was sentenced to serve 12 to 30 years in prison.

“I have no doubt if you were released today you would go back into the trade, and I can't tolerate that,” Millin told Moore. “You are destroying life. You stay in business and profit from misery.”

After a six-day trial in June, a Westmoreland County jury convicted Moore of 16 counts, including charges that he operated a corrupt organization.

Authorities said the drug ring operated throughout Westmoreland County during a two-year period.

Haynes was found guilty of eight offenses, including similar racketeering charges.

Prosecutors said the men were key players in the drug-trafficking ring that stretched from New Jersey to Western Pennsylvania.

According to police, the group sold hundreds of bricks of heroin every week, earning $50,000 on those sales. It generated more than $1.2 million during a six-month period, said Assistant District Attorney James Lazar.

At trial, Lazar described the drug operation as an organized business with a structure and a marketing effort to lure heroin addicts.

The group operated in the Greensburg, Mt. Pleasant and Latrobe areas in 2010 and 2011. Moore was one of several men who routinely traveled to New Jersey to bring drugs into the area, Lazar said at trial.

In court on Friday, Lazar asked for lengthy sentences for Moore and Haynes.

“What they're doing is peddling life and death, and it's devastating to the county and society in general. No amount of time is enough for what they've done,” Lazar said.

Moore and Haynes were among 20 men and women charged in connection with the drug-trafficking ring. The pair are the only defendants whose cases have gone to trial. Most of the remaining defendants are expected to plead guilty, and many have cooperated with prosecutors and testified against Moore and Haynes.

Millin is scheduled to conduct a nonjury trial for Tyrone Leonard, 22, of Pittsburgh on Oct. 16. Leonard also faces murder charges in Allegheny County.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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