PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Pittsburgh man pleaded guilty in federal court to trafficking cocaine and money laundering, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced Monday.
Richard Stuart Wright, 76, pleaded guilty to three counts with purchasing kilogram level amounts of cocaine each month for over two decades. Wright was accused of processing the cocaine by packaging it in smaller quantities and converting some into crack.
In more recent years, co-defendant Walter Amman would help the defendant with the processing, packaging and distribution of the cocaine.
Two controlled purchases of cocaine were made from Amman, helping authorities obtain search warrants for locations attributable to Amman and Wright.
The investigation turned up key evidence, including: cocaine prepackaged for sale and color-coded for size; multiple firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition; large amounts of cash; amounts of powder cocaine; numerous inositol bottles and material to convert cocaine into crack; and a safe imbedded into the concrete floor.
The drugs located by police included 5.9 kilos of cocaine and 1/4 kilo of crack cocaine. Wright admitted to all of the drugs, while Amman agreed that he was personally responsible for between 700 grams and one kilogram of cocaine, as well as the 5.767 grams of crack cocaine found at his property.
Wright and others also commonly laundered drug money.
Wright’s sentencing is scheduled for July 18 and Amman’s sentencing was scheduled for June 7.
Both face sentences of up to 60 years in prison, a fine of up to $2.5 million, or both.
Considering Wright’s reported frail health and recent hospitalization, the court agreed to allow him to remain on Electronic Home Monitoring with a house arrest bracelet pending his sentencing. Co-defendant Amman is incarcerated pending his sentencing.