PITTSBURGH – A former resident of Duquesne, Pennsylvania, and a fugitive from 2019 to 2022, pleaded guilty on January 11, 2023 in federal court to one count of violating federal drug laws in connection with a large-scale investigation by Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.
Delbert Pate, 30, pleaded guilty to one count before Senior United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.
In conjunction with the guilty plea, the court was informed that the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force conducted a long-term investigation into drug trafficking that occurred in and around Braddock Borough outside of Pittsburgh and identified several members and associates of a neighborhood-based street. gang, self-titled “SCO”, responsible for distributing controlled substances in western Pennsylvania, which was led by Pate’s previously convicted half-brother, Howard McFadden.
Pate was identified as a member of the SCO and involved in McFadden’s drug trade. Intercepted communications revealed that in addition to acting as a drug runner/courier for McFadden, Pate was one of McFadden’s trusted associates and received distributor quantities of heroin from McFadden. Pate admitted he was responsible for distributing over 100 grams of heroin.
Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for May 18, 2023 at 9.30. The law provides for a total penalty of at least five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the federal sentencing guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based on the seriousness of the offense and the defendant’s prior criminal history, if any.
Pending sentencing, the court ordered the defendant to remain in custody.
Assistant United States Attorney Rebecca L. Silinski is prosecuting this case on behalf of the United States.
Federal Bureau of Investigation along with Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Allegheny County Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General Bureau of Narcotics Investigations, and Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. Other assisting agencies include Allegheny County Adult Probation, Monroeville Police Department, Penn Hills Police Department, Shaler Township Police Department and Wilkinsburg Police Department, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Pate.
This prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles high-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten communities throughout the United States. The 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.