Florida woman pleads guilty to conspiracy charges


Date: June 3, 2020

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

PITTSBURGH - A former resident of Plantation, Florida, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal narcotics laws and money laundering.

Marcia Cunningham, aka Elaine Ambersley, aka Marcia Headley pleaded guilty to two counts before United States District Judge Marilyn J. Horan.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Cunningham conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance from in and April 2017, and continuing thereafter to in and around April 2019, in the Western District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Additionally, Cunningham pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit money laundering, from in and April 2017, and continuing thereafter to in and around April 2019.

Judge Horan scheduled sentencing for Sept. 22, 2020 at 10:45 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than 10 years in prison and up to life, a fine of $10,500,000, 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.

Assistant United States Attorneys Brendan T. Conway and Marnie Sheehan-Balchon are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

A federally administered Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Cunningham. The task force is headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration and is comprised of members drawn from the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Lawrence County Drug Task Force, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Borough of Baldwin Police Department, McKees Rocks Police Department, Munhall Police Department, Allegheny County Sheriff's Office, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and the Pennsylvania State Police. The OCDETF program supplies critical federal funding and coordination that allows federal and state agencies to work together to successfully identify, investigate, and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises. The Lawrence County Drug Task Force and the New Castle Police Department also participated in the investigation.