Upper St. Clair attorney pleads not guilty in crack conspiracy case

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Upper St. Clair attorney Guy Amatangelo pleaded not guilty today to charges of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug distribution.

Mr. Amatangelo, 41, made no statement at his arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maureen Kelly. His court-appointed attorney, Patrick Nightingale, declined comment after the hearing.

Assistant U.S. attorney Jonathan Ortiz said the charges were the product of a "lengthy investigation" including wiretaps and searches. He estimated it would take the government a week to put on its case at trial.

Mr. Nightingale said the defense would need two days.

The indictment, unsealed a week ago, provides few details about the allegations against Mr. Amatangelo, other than a time frame of the alleged crack distribution conspiracy -- September through October 2013 -- and a description of the gun, a Walther .25 caliber.

U.S. attorney David Hickton's office has characterized the case against Mr. Amatangelo as part of a four-indictment, 13-defendant roundup of a drug ring that brought cocaine to Pittsburgh from Brooklyn, N.Y.

No trial date has been set.

Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord.

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