Floridian pleads in cross-country marijuana trafficking conspiracy that distributed on western PA college campuses


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Date: March 16, 2021

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Pittsburgh — A Florida resident pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Ryan Hendrix of Lighthouse Point, Florida, pleaded guilty to one count before Senior United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that the Drug Enforcement Administration and other agencies conducted a multi-year investigation of the marijuana trafficking conspiracy of Hendrix and his coconspirators. From 2012 through 2017, Hendrix and his co-conspirators arranged for marijuana to be supplied from the West Coast and mailed to the Pittsburgh area through the United States Postal Service. Hendrix's co-conspirators would then distribute the marijuana in the Western District of Pennsylvania, primarily on college campuses, such as Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for July 22, 2021. The law provides for a total sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued the defendant's bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Tonya Sulia Goodman is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and the Indiana Borough Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Hendrix. This prosecution is a result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles high-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten communities throughout the United States. OCDETF uses a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.