PITTSBURGH, PA – The vice-president of the Pagans Motorbike Club, Pittsburgh Chapter pleaded responsible in federal court to a charge of violating federal firearms rules, Performing United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced now.
Patrick Rizzo, 46, previously of McKees Rocks, PA 15136, pleaded responsible to one particular count before United States District Choose Robert J. Colville.
In connection with the guilty plea, the courtroom was encouraged that the Larger Pittsburgh Risk-free Streets Endeavor Pressure conducted a extensive-phrase investigation into drug-trafficking and illegal firearms activity transpiring in the Western District of Pennsylvania, involving, among the others, users and associates of the Pagans Bike Club (MC), Pittsburgh Chapter. One particular of the targets of the investigation was Pagans MC Vice President, Patrick Rizzo.
Starting in August of 2020 and continuing as a result of November 2020, the FBI conducted a federal Title III investigation, which resulted in the interception of hundreds of wire and digital communications in excess of a complete of ten telephones, one particular of which was Rizzo’s.
In connection with his responsible plea, Rizzo admitted that on Oct 17 and 18, 2020, in excess of intercepted communications, Rizzo and other associates of the conspiracy talked about Rizzo possessing a “Judge” – that is, a Taurus Choose revolver. Then, on Oct 21, 2020, Rizzo acknowledged that he was the subject matter of a lawful targeted traffic end by City of Pittsburgh Law enforcement (PBP) following he practically prompted an incident in downtown Pittsburgh. Just after smelling cannabis coming from the inside of the auto, Rizzo was patted down, and a cannabis roach was identified on his particular person. Law enforcement searched his car or truck and located a Black Taurus Decide revolver with five reside rounds, as effectively as a black holster for the firearm in the centre console. Rizzo more admitted that he has a prior felony conviction and could not lawfully possess that firearm.
Further more, in link with his guilty plea, Rizzo also admitted that on December 8, 2020, regulation enforcement executed a federal look for warrant at his condominium and positioned two additional handguns, 1 of which was stolen as very well as connected magazines and 165 rounds of ammunition. Even further, regulation enforcement seized marijuana, packaged for resale, as effectively as person portions of heroin and cocaine and paraphernalia connected to utilizing controlled substances. Rizzo admitted that in addition to his prior felony conviction, which prohibited him from possessing these firearms and ammunition as nicely, it was also unlawful for him to possess them for the reason that he was an illegal user of and addicted to managed substances.
Decide Colville scheduled sentencing for Oct 26, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. The regulation delivers for a full sentence of 10 decades in prison, a great of $250,000, or both equally. Less than the Federal Sentencing Tips, the genuine sentence imposed is dependent upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior legal history, if any, of the defendant. Rizzo remains in custody pending sentencing.
Assistant United States Attorney Rebecca L. Silinski is prosecuting this situation on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the multi-company investigation of this scenario, which also incorporated the United States Postal Inspection Company, Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Marshals Fugitive Undertaking Pressure, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Business office, Pennsylvania Condition Law enforcement, Pittsburgh Bureau of Law enforcement, and the Pennsylvania Office environment of Attorney Common Bureau of Narcotics Investigations. Other assisting companies contain the Allegheny County Police Department Homicide, Baldwin Police Office, Brentwood Law enforcement Division, McKees Rocks Police Division, Stowe Township Police Office and West Deer Township Law enforcement Division.
This prosecution is a final result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Activity Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles large-degree drug traffickers, revenue launderers, gangs, and transnational felony businesses that threaten communities in the course of the United States. OCDETF makes use of a prosecutor-led, intelligence-pushed, multi-agency tactic that leverages the strengths of federal, condition, and local law enforcement companies in opposition to prison networks.