By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A gang leader will spend more than 20 years behind bars for trafficking drugs in Braddock.

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A judge sentenced 31-year-old Howard McFadden to 262 months in federal prison followed by 10 years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty in February to multiple drug charges.

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In 2018, a task force led by the FBI began an investigation into drug trafficking in Braddock. Authorities identified McFadden, the leader of the self-titled SCO street gang, and over 30 other people.

McFadden is accused of training and mentoring younger members in the drug trafficking business. Prosecutors say his operation also used a series of stash houses throughout Braddock, which he allegedly repaired as part of his house-flipping business, often using drug addicts and gang members to work on the homes and paying them with drugs instead of cash.

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During the proceeding, the judge called McFadden’s drug business “carefully planned out” and “thoughtfully organized.” The judge told McFadden to use his business and leadership skills he showed as a drug trafficker in a productive way after he serves his sentence.