An Economy man convicted of drug dealing has been sentenced in federal court to 24 years in prison for the unlawful distribution of prescription drugs, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Pittsburgh.
On April 10, a federal jury convicted Best on 11 counts related to unlawful distribution of prescription drugs following a 10-day trial in which Best was charged with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and Opana, as well as multiple counts related to large-scale drug trafficking.
Specifically, according to Assistant United States Attorney Eric S. Rosen, who prosecuted the case, the evidence presented at trial established that Best conspired together with others, from July 2011 to around May 2013, to distribute and possess with intent to distribute large quantities of oxycodone and Opana, both schedule II controlled substances.
On April 18, 2013 and April 30, 2013, court officials said Best distributed oxycodone and oxymorphone, in the form known as Opana to a confidential informant.
Further, on three separate occasions, Dec. 1, 2011, Sept. 26 to Sept. 27, 2012, and Feb. 15, 2013, Best burglarized the MedFast pharmacy in Baden and stole a number of drugs, including: fentanyl, oxymorphone, including in the form known as Opana, Ritalin, oxycodone, including in the form known as Oxycontin, methylphenidate, Vyvanse, morphine sulfate, Roxicet, Focalin, methylphenidate, hydromorphone, methadone, and meperidine.
On two occasions, authorities said Best chiseled through the wall of the neighboring China Garden restaurant into the pharmacy, and on the third occasion, Best broke into the Bo-Rics hair salon, and from there, burrowed directly into the MedFast controlled substances cabinet.
In that regard, Best held two men hostage at gunpoint after he lured them to his Economy home under the guise that he had a large stash of drugs and money in his room. Best suspected that these two men were conspiring to steal his drug proceeds, so he preemptively attacked and held them hostage at gunpoint.
Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Schwab highlighted the seriousness of Best’s many crimes and the damage that his drug dealing did to those in Western Pennsylvania.
Best had argued that his drug dealing resulted from his own drug addiction, however, the court determined the scope of his massive drug conspiracy went far beyond that of an ordinary addict looking to feed their addiction. Two co-defendants were previously sentenced for conspiring with Best to burglarize the pharmacy.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, Economy Police and Cranberry Police conducted the investigation that led to Best's prosecution and conviction.
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