PITTSBURGH, PA -- A resident of Bronx, New York, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal narcotics laws, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.
Hector Taveras, age 42, who is from Bronx, New York pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon to conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on July 8, 2019, Pennsylvania State Police stopped Taveras’s vehicle traveling towards Pittsburgh on the Pennsylvania turnpike. Although Taveras owned the vehicle, he was a passenger and another man, Juan Guzman, was driving. During the stop, both Taveras and Guzman consented to a search of the vehicle. Troopers found a hidden compartment in the vehicle that contained 1.3 kilograms of bulk fentanyl.
Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing for Jan. 6, 2022. As to Count One and Count Two, the law provides for a total sentence of ten years in prison, a fine of $10,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Pending sentencing, the court ordered Taveras to remain on bond.
Assistant United States Attorney Brian M. Czarnecki is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Hector Taveras.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Western District of Pennsylvania