Former McKeesport man pleads guilty to federal drug, gun charges
A former McKeesport man has pleaded guilty to federal drug and gun charges.
Thomas Thornton, 42, entered a guilty plea to four counts before Senior U.S. District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose in Pittsburgh — including charges of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, being a convicted felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
According to information received by FBI investigators, Thornton conspired to distribute drugs with another individual, was buying fentanyl and had several guns, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady announced Thursday.
Executing a search warrant May 22 at Thornton’s McKeesport residence, agents recovered two loaded weapons, a 9mm semi-automatic handgun and a .45-caliber handgun, along with ammunition, two tactical vests, heroin, cocaine, scales, a case of cough syrup and two cell phones.
Thornton admitted to selling drugs after being fired from a job, initially buying marijuana from a source in California, Brady said. Thornton later bought cough syrup from Texas to sell for profit and also admitted buying heroin, cocaine and ecstasy pills from that state.
He admitted to receiving the 9mm firearm in exchange for 50 stamp bags of heroin.
Ambrose scheduled sentencing for April 2.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter @jhimler_news.