A North Side drug dealer convicted a decade ago for his role in one of Western Pennsylvania’s largest-ever narcotics rings pleaded guilty Monday in another major drug case involving one of the same players and supplied by a Mexican gangster in California who has been deported five times.
Troy Dawkins, 46, who has addresses in Aliquippa and on the North Side, admitted to conspiracy to distribute heroin as part of a ring of 13 people arrested last year following an investigation by the state attorney general, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and local police.
Dawkins got out of prison in 2011 after being prosecuted in federal court for participating in a cocaine and heroin network run by Donald “Chief” Lyles of the North Side and Oliver Beasley of Penn Hills that then-Attorney General John Ashcroft said was the largest drug ring ever uncovered in the Pittsburgh region.
Another defendant in that case was Robert Carpenter, 46, of Manchester and Coraopolis, who is charged as one of the ringleaders in the new case.
Carpenter, who had his 20-year federal sentence cut in half in 2004 for cooperating with federal prosecutors, was on probation when he was arrested in 2013, as was Dawkins.
State agents said both were part of an operation in 2012 that shipped heroin into Pittsburgh and Beaver County supplied by Jose Luis Pena-Montes, an undocumented alien from Mexico and a member of the Surenos street gang in California who has been repeatedly deported.
According to a state grand jury presentment, Carpenter acted as the local distributor for Pena-Montes, delivering heroin to other Pittsburgh distributors, including Dawkins. Most of the transactions took place at an address on Halsey Place in Manchester associated with accused ring member Marquis Farrow.
The state investigation, based largely on extensive wiretaps of cell phones, resulted in raids on several addresses in February 2013. On Halsey Place, agents said they discovered a heroin processing mill. Warrants at various other locations turned up guns, body armor and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash.
Most of the 13 are being prosecuted in state court, but federal prosecutors pursued Dawkins in U.S. District Court.
A federal grand jury indicted him in February. He will be sentenced in November.
Torsten Ove: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1510.
First Published July 28, 2014 12:00 AM