Calif. man heads to prison for smuggling high-grade meth into region

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A crystal methamphetamine supplier from California whose product was smuggled into Pittsburgh by an 80-year-old relative has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

Joseph Rojas, 28, of Elk Grove, had pleaded guilty in January to distribution of high-grade meth, known as "ice," brought here by Dominick Spickle, 80, of Sacramento, and distributed by his Western Pennsylvania connection, Kevin Nicol, 58, of Penn Township, Westmoreland County. Mr. Rojas was sentenced Thursday.

Mr. Rojas is the great-grandson of Mr. Spickle's sister. In 2012, Mr. Spickle was driving to Pittsburgh with the meth from Mr. Rojas to sell to Mr. Nicol. In court, Mr. Spickle accepted responsibility for more than half a pound of meth transported in two trips before an undercover state trooper arrested him.

Mr. Spickle received home detention for his role. Mr. Nicol is serving five years in prison.


Torsten Ove: tove@post-gazette.com.


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