Donora man pleads guilty to participation in massive cocaine distribution ring
A Donora man, one of nearly 40 people indicted as part of the Lightfoot/Mendoza drug-trafficking organization this past spring, has pleaded guilty to distributing cocaine, U.S. Attorney Scott Brady announced on Tuesday.
Michael Tirpak, 33, of Donora pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute, and to cocaine distribution, stemming from his days as a mid-level distributor in the organization, according to U.S. Justice Department officials.
Tirpak is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 22. He faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
The cocaine ring was among the largest in the history of Western Pennsylvania, Brady said when announcing initial indictments in April. It stretched from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles and included connections to Mexican cartels.
Warrants and seizures related to the ring yielded more than a dozen firearms, 50 kilograms of cocaine, 85 pounds of marijuana and more than $1 million in cash.