PITTSBURGH, PA — A former resident of McKeesport, Pennsylvania pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal narcotics and firearm laws, announced Acting United States Attorney Troy Rivetti.
Raymar McKenzie pleaded guilty Monday, March 13, 2023, to two counts before United States District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan. Specifically, McKenzie pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and crack, in addition to possession of a firearm in furtherance of that drug trafficking crime.
In connection with the guilty plea, the Court was advised that between August and September 2020, the Allegheny County Police Department (ACPD) conducted three controlled buy operations from defendant Raymar McKenzie. During each controlled buy, a third party called McKenzie from his known cellular phone number and purchased cocaine base. Following each controlled buy, McKenzie returned to a McKeesport residence in his black pickup truck. As a result, law enforcement applied for and obtained search warrants for the residence, McKenzie, and his vehicle.
On Sept. 18, 2020, law enforcement executed the search warrants. Law enforcement detained McKenzie during the search, and he was found in possession of $1,680.00. From an upstairs bedroom, officers located a cellular phone on a bed. Upon calling the number used to contact McKenzie during the controlled buy operations, the phone rang. A sweatshirt on the floor of that bedroom contained packaged cocaine base and a pair of keys that opened the black pickup truck operated by the defendant during the controlled buy operations. Next to the sweatshirt, officers observed a safe. While opening the safe, McKenzie notified officers that the safe contained fentanyl.
Following a waiver of his rights, McKenzie admitted that everything in the house was his and described the contents of the safe as including crack, fentanyl, and a black Ruger. In addition to the packaged drugs and firearm, the safe held a loaded .40 caliber extended magazine and $3,000.00.
Judge Ranjan scheduled sentencing for June 26, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of life imprisonment, a fine of $2,000,000 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 remanded McKenzie to the custody of the US Marshals Service.
Assistant United States Attorney Brendan J. McKenna is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Allegheny County Police Department and the McKeesport Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of McKenzie.
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