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Crime briefs: Man pleads guilty to trafficking charge

| Wednesday, May 29, 2002, 12:00 p.m.

A Clairton man has pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of selling crack cocaine to a confidential informant, prosecutors said.

Eric James Gooden, 37, of Waddel Avenue made the sale on March 30, 2001, to the informant who was assisting the federal Drug Enforcement Administration that was investigating drug trafficking in Clairton, prosecutors said.

The sale was recorded on videotape, prosecutors said.

Gooden is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 9 before U.S. District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose.

Suspect sentenced for cocaine sale

A Bellevue man has been sentenced to five years probation, including six months of home detention, for his conviction on charges of obtaining and selling a kilogram of cocaine in the Pittsburgh area.

Michael Padgett, 38, of Dakota Avenue admitted to conspiring with other people, including Thomas Sills, 43, of Valencia, Butler County, to sell the drugs, prosecutors said.

Sills was convicted of traveling from Arizona to Pittsburgh carrying more than 2 pounds of cocaine for sale. He has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison.

Ambrose said the lengthy term of probation was appropriate because of Padgett's extraordinary assistance to the government in apprehending Thomas Sills and Padgett's personal efforts at drug rehabilitation.

Woman facing bank fraud charge

A woman from Oakland has been indicted by a federal grand jury on a charge of bank fraud, prosecutors said.

Diane B. Mandell, 47, of Kennett Square is accused of receiving loan solicitations intended for an unrelated person with the same last name. Mandell, also known as M.E. Mandell, forged the endorsement and deposited the checks in her own bank account, prosecutors said.

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