Date: October 5, 2022 Contact: email@example.com PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania resident pleaded guilty on Monday in federal court to violating federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today. Romondo Oatis, of Farrell, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine from March of 2019 through September of 2020 before United States District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan. Oatis is one of 13 defendants charged in the Indictment returned in this case. In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began investigating a cocaine and fentanyl trafficking organization that operated throughout the United States, including Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico. Beginning in December of 2019 and continuing through August of 2020, the DEA received authorization to conduct a Title III wiretap investigation into the organization. Oatis, as a member of this multistate drug trafficking organization, was intercepted discussing acquiring and distributing cocaine throughout western Pennsylvania. In addition to the intercepted communications, agents seized cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, ecstasy, marijuana, firearms, and bulk United States Currency from members of the organization, including Oatis. Judge Ranjan scheduled sentencing for March 3, 2023. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than 10 years to a maximum of life imprisonment, a fine not to exceed $8,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. Oatis remains in custody pending sentencing. Assistant United States Attorney Mark V. Gurzo is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government. The Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations; DEA in Pittsburgh, PA; the DEA, Columbus, OH; the DEA, Harrisburg, PA; Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Pittsburgh, PA; HSI, Orlando, FL; United States Postal Service, Columbus, Ohio; Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General; Lawrence County Drug Task Force – Special Investigations Unit; and New Castle Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the prosecution of Oatis. 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.