U.S. Attorney David Hickton

A Pittsburgh federal grand jury has indicted a man living in Venezuela on charges of filing fraudulent tax returns using stolen identities from hundreds of UPMC employees.

U.S. Attorney for the District of Western Pennsylvania, David Hickton, said Friday he believes the indictment will frustrate the hacking conspiracy group. Yoandy Perez Llanes, 31, has been charged with 21 counts of money laundering, conspiracy and aggravated identity theft.

U.S. Department of Justice

The U.S. attorney’s office in Pittsburgh is elevating one prosecutor in each of four Western Pennsylvania counties to the status of Special Assistant United States Attorney in an effort to fight back against gun crime in the region.

U.S. Attorney David Hickton Tuesday launched the program that will allow cases to more easily move from state to federal court.

“The decision on whether it goes state or federal is usually a collaborative discussion between the U.S. attorney and the district attorney," Hickton said. "And the decision is usually based on where you can get the best sentence. It also is based at the investigative level on the resources that are needed.”

Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

  U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania David Hickton announced the indictment of 14 individuals Thursday on charges related to a cross-country drug distribution pipeline.

“As of 9:15 (a.m.), 12 of the 14 defendants were in federal custody,” Hickton said. “They will appear today in federal court to be informed of the charges.”

Two of the 14 suspects, William Blair and James McCray, both from the Pittsburgh area, remain at large.

Deanna Garcia

A counterfeit $100 bill used in Pittsburgh last year has led federal authorities to an international counterfeiting scheme and resulted in charges against a 27-year-old U.S. citizen living in Uganda.

“These Ugandan-manufactured counterfeit bills were being passed in our neighborhoods; specifically Oakland, Carnegie, McCandless Township and other places,” said David Hickton, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania. “It quickly spread to other cities throughout the country.”

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Heroin and prescription drug abuse is at epidemic levels in western Pennsylvania and across the nation, according to U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania David Hickton. His U.S. Attorney’s Working Group on Drug Overdoses and Addiction has released a report outlining the problem and making recommendations to combat it going forward. The main goal of the group is to reduce overdose deaths.

Federal prosecutors and the FBI say they've charged 44 people in a suburban Pittsburgh heroin ring that brazenly sold drugs while wearing T-shirts with the slogan, "Bricks R Us."

U.S. Attorney David Hickton and the FBI say the group was supplied out of Newark, New Jersey. They say the ring sold drugs in Pittsburgh and several of its south and east suburbs.

The United States Department of Justice Wednesday announced charges against two former enlisted Guardsman at the 171st Air Refueling Wing in Coraopolis.

U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton said Col. Gerard J. Mangis, 59, of Shaler Township is charged with 110 counts of conspiracy, honest service wire fraud, false claims and theft of government property. Mangis was formerly a Vice-Wing Commander at the refueling wing; he was relieved of his duties in 2011.

A federal grand jury has indicted a Clarion County man on charges of interstate transportation of a minor for the purpose of engaging in unlawful sexual activity.

U.S. Attorney for Western PA David Hickton said 31-year-old Joshua D. Baker of Leeper is also charged with travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a 13-year-old female. The indictment followed an investigation by the FBI and Clarion County authorities.