ShareThis Page
Former Allegheny County scientist gets 60 days in prison |

Former Allegheny County scientist gets 60 days in prison

| Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:39 p.m

A former Allegheny County scientist was sentenced Tuesday to 60 days in federal prison for taking drugs from evidence, prosecutors said.

U.S. District Judge Mark R. Hornak in Pittsburgh sentenced Matthew Ieraci, 30, who formerly worked in the lab of the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office, on one count of theft from a program receiving federal funds.

Court records show he could have been sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined $250,000.

According to prosecutors Ieraci admitted that from Feb. 8 through Feb. 27, 2017, he stole 52.45 grams of powder alprazolam, the chemical name for the sedative Xanax.

Ieraci admitted he stole the evidence from a larger quantity of alprazolam that the Postal Inspection Service had submitted to the medical examiner’s office for chemical analysis in connection with an ongoing federal drug-trafficking investigation. Ieraci was assigned to analyze the evidence on behalf of the medical examiner.

Prosecutors said Ieraci also admitted that he had been trained in proper evidence-handling techniques and was aware of the consequences of evidence tampering, including the possibility that such evidence would not be admissible at trial.

Ieraci’s attorney Phil Dilucente said the man will serve his time in a federal prison in Morgantown, W.Va.

He won’t work at the lab again, he said.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.