PITTSBURGH, PA — A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal narcotic laws, announced United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung.
Devontay Montaze Green, age 29, pleaded guilty on January 26, 2023, to one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute a mixture containing heroin and fentanyl before Senior United States District Judge Joy Flowers Conti. Green also acknowledged responsibility for distributing a mixture of heroin and fentanyl resulting in death.
In connection with the guilty plea, the Court was advised that on the morning of Oct. 31, 2018, K.K. was found dead in the basement of an Alison Park, PA residence. Paramedics and the McCandless Police Department responded to the residence. Paramedics were unable to resuscitate K.K., and he was pronounced dead at the scene. The McCandless Police Department recovered drug use paraphernalia and ripped, empty stamp bags marked “Hurricane Harvey” in red ink and “Burger King” in blue ink near his body. Law enforcement also recovered K.K.’s cellular phone and provided all evidence to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Opioid Task Force.
K.K.’s cellular phone contained text messages with a third-party from the evening of Oct. 30, 2018. The texts revealed that K.K. and the third-party sought to purchase bundles of a controlled substance from the third-party’s drug dealer. Using these text messages, the FBI contacted the third-party, who confirmed that he and K.K. had purchased four bundles of “Hurricane Harvey” and “Burger King” from an individual known to him as “Trey” on the evening of Oct. 30, 2018. A bundle is typically comprised of ten glassine bags containing controlled substances that are packaged together using a rubber band.
On Nov. 1, 2018, the FBI directed the third-party to text “Trey” to arrange for the controlled purchase of the same stamps recovered at K.K.’s death scene. When asked for “Hurricane Harvey,” “Trey” responded that he had Burger King, which he described as “blue” and “even better.” “Trey” also texted that he had “Hurricane” and that he would save some for the third-party. Subsequently, the third-party met “Trey” in the Carrick area of Pittsburgh. The third-party purchased approximately two bundles from “Trey” marked “Hurricane Harvey” in red ink and “Burger King” in blue ink. The third-party immediately provided the bundles to law enforcement and confirmed that he purchased them from “Trey.”
Following the controlled purchase operation, law enforcement conducted mobile surveillance of “Trey” as he entered a silver Lincoln sedan as a passenger. The Lincoln stopped in a high-drug trafficking area before re-entering traffic. Thereafter, a law enforcement officer detected the odor of marijuana emanating from the Lincoln and requested a marked unit conduct a traffic stop. A dashcam video recorded the Lincoln briefly stop before speeding away and crashing. Law enforcement detained both the driver and “Trey” as they fled on foot from the crash.
From outside the Lincoln, law enforcement observed a plastic bag containing packaged controlled substances in plain view on the floorboard. Law enforcement seized the bag and found 16 bricks, a majority of which bore the “Burger King” stamp in blue ink. A brick is typically comprised of fifty glassine bags containing controlled substances that are packaged together using a rubber band. In addition to the bricks, law enforcement recovered several cellular phones at the scene of the crash.
The FBI then transported “Trey,” who was identified as Green, to an FBI building for an interview. Following a written waiver of his rights, Green admitted to selling heroin prior to the vehicle pursuit, to obtaining about 15 bricks from his source of supply prior to the vehicle pursuit, and to previously obtaining the “Hurricane” stamp from his source of supply.
Also during his interview, Green identified which of the cellular phones recovered near the crash belonged to him. Additionally, Green provided written consent to search his cellular phone. The data extraction of the phone revealed communications between Green and the third-party. The communications reflect Green’s sale of controlled substances to the third-party on or about Oct. 30, 2018, and again on Nov. 1, 2018.
The FBI conducted historical cellular site analysis on the cellular phones used by K.K., the third party, and Green from the evening of Oct. 30, 2018. The analysis revealed that K.K. both communicated and traveled with the third-party to meet with Green. The cellular site analysis further revealed that the three individuals were briefly in the same area before K.K. returned to his Alison Park residence.
The Office of the Medical Examiner, Allegheny County, conducted a death investigation into the cause of K.K.’s death. The drug chemistry section confirmed that the “Hurricane Harvey” and “Burger King” purchased and seized from Green on Nov. 1, 2018, contained a mixture of heroin and fentanyl. The toxicology section determined that K.K.’s blood contained a lethal level of both fentanyl and morphine, which is indicative of heroin use. A forensic toxicologist further determined that K.K.’s toxicology report was consistent with the use of the substances found in “Hurricane Harvey” and “Burger King.” Finally, a forensic pathologist determined that K.K. died of a drug overdose. K.K. would be alive if it were not for the presence of fentanyl and morphine in his blood.
Judge Conti scheduled sentencing for May 18, 2023, at 1:30 pm. The law provides for a term of imprisonment not more than 20 years, a fine of $1,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Pending sentencing, the court continued Green on bond.
Assistant United States Attorney Brendan J. McKenna is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Opioid Task Force and the McCandless Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Green.
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