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Oregonian pleads guilty in meth and marijuana trafficking scheme | USAO-WDPA

PITTSBURGH, PA – A former resident of Grants Pass, Oregon, has pleaded guilty in federal court to violations of federal narcotics and money laundering laws related to a nine-month Title III wiretap investigation into the drug trafficking in and around Jefferson, Clearfield, and Allegheny counties, U.S. Attorney Cindy Chung announced today.

George Charlan, 34, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and a quantity of marijuana as well as one count of conspiracy to launder money before United States District Judge Christy Criswell Wiegand. Charlan was one of 47 defendants charged in six related indictments in the Return to Sender investigation.

As part of the guilty plea, the court was told that Charlan orchestrated the shipment of more than 280 pounds of methamphetamine and 100 kilograms of marijuana from California and Nevada to Jefferson County, Clearfield County and Allegheny County. Charlan also led the shipment of a large amount of US currency representing drug proceeds that were used to purchase additional methamphetamine and marijuana from the Western District of Pennsylvania to California. Charlan then ordered Christian Maldonado to carry the rest of the drug profits to Charlan.

Judge Wiegand has scheduled Charlan’s sentencing for November 29, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. The law provides for a sentence of at least ten years with a maximum of life in prison, a fine not exceeding $10,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based on the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court ordered the accused to remain on bail.

Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan D. Lusty and Michael R. Ball are pursuing this case on behalf of the government.

The Drug Enforcement Administration led the multi-agency investigation into this case, which also included Homeland Security Investigations, United States Postal Service – Office of Inspector General, United States Postal Inspection Service, Internal Revenue Services, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police , Allegheny County Police and Pennsylvania State Police. The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, Clearfield County District Attorney’s Office and Clarion Borough Police Department also assisted.

This lawsuit is the result of an investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OECDTF). The OECDTF identifies, disrupts and dismantles high-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations that threaten communities everywhere.
United States. The OECDTF employs a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.