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McKeesport man sentenced to more than 5 years in prison for drug and gun charges

November 26, 2018

A McKeesport man has been sentenced in federal court to more than five years in prison on his heroin trafficking and firearms possession conviction, federal prosecutors announced Friday.

U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer imposed the sentence on Isaiah Pridgen, 21.

Prosecutors said Pridgen possessed heroin with the intent to sell it, as well as a gun used in drug trafficking in connection with a November 2016 incident in McKeesport.

Pridgen was a passenger in a car pulled over by police that day.

Officers ordered him out of the car, and as he got out, he shoved an officer and fled, according to a federal news release.

Officers saw Pridgen throw an object later identified to be a loaded .45-caliber Taurus pistol. Pridgen was eventually apprehended, and officers found 100 packets of heroin in his pocket.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Fischer stated that Pridgen’s actions in dealing opiates is “deadly as any pistol” and that those actions created a “substantial risk of harm to the community.”

The judge noted that the defendant had a significant juvenile criminal history for assault, theft, guns and drugs, making his actions at the age of 19 even more serious.

Fischer praised the support of the defendant’s family and friends, noted that violating her federal sentence could have “big consequences,” and told the defendant to “make good on this last chance.”

At sentencing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ross E. Lenhardt argued that the dollar sign tattoo on the defendant’s face and his lack of prior employment showed that the defendant’s clear motive for dealing drugs was greed.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Heidi M. Grogan was the lead prosecutor.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the state Attorney General’s Office and the McKeesport Police Department conducted the investigation.

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