The brother of an accused Homestead heroin kingpin and another man who confirmed that he worked directly with the alleged drug boss pleaded guilty in federal court Monday.
Ryan Harper, 36, of Munhall admitted that he conspired to sell more than 100 grams of heroin in late 2012 and early this year. Prosecutors said he's the brother of Bryce Harper, 26, of Homestead, who is accused of leading the drug crew.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen said that in November Homestead police chased a car driven by Harper, only to have a passenger jump out of the car and run. The passenger hid 52 grams of heroin in an alley, but police found it.
Harper, who has a criminal history including convictions for theft and drug possession, also pleaded guilty to personally selling heroin. Mr. Rosen said that he sold 50 stamp bags of heroin for $350 a year ago in a "controlled buy" set up and monitored by law enforcement.
Seth Lindsey, 19, of Duquesne pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin and to employing persons under the age of 18 in drug trafficking.
Mr. Lindsey was a "runner" carrying drugs and money among members of the ring, Mr. Rosen told U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon. Mr. Lindsey worked directly with Bryce Harper, the prosecutor said, and was involved with the distribution of 400 to 700 grams of heroin.
Mr. Lindsey also joined with a juvenile in convincing a heroin customer of theirs to buy a gun for them, Mr. Rosen said.
Ryan Harper and Mr. Lindsey are jailed and are set to be sentenced in January.
With the two pleas, around half a dozen of the 35 people who were charged in relation to the Homestead-area heroin round-up conducted in March have been convicted.
Bryce Harper has pleaded not guilty to the federal charges. He has pleaded guilty to state-level drug charges in the past.
Rich Lord: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1542 or Twitter @richelord First Published September 23, 2013 4:00 PM