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Former Gang Member Sentenced to Federal Prison

By Staff Reports
The Tube City Almanac
June 07, 2023
Posted in: Crime and Police News

A former Duquesne man who was charged in 2019 with drug trafficking as an alleged member of the Braddock-based SCO gang has been sentenced to five years in federal prison.

The sentence was imposed May 17 on Delbert Pate, 30, by Senior U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab in Pittsburgh, and also includes four years’ probation following release.

Prosecutors said that Pate pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin-laced substances.

More than 30 members of SCO were indicted in 2019 following a lengthy local, state and federal investigation conducted by the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force. Prosecutors allege that Pate’s half-brother, Howard McFadden, was the leader of SCO.

McFadden, 33, formerly of Turtle Creek, was sentenced in 2021 to more than 20 years in federal prison. He is currently serving his sentence at a medium-security prison in South Carolina.

At McFadden’s court hearing, prosecutors presented evidence that he mentored gang members in trafficking cocaine, heroin and handguns, and that he operated a house-flipping business called “H&M Home Solutions” that was actually a front for drug activity.

Investigators said that following the indictment of McFadden and 32 other alleged SCO members, Pate fled the Pittsburgh area and became a fugitive from justice.

Pate surrendered to police in August 2022 and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic narcotics.

Prosecutors allege that in addition to acting as a drug runner for McFadden, Pate was one of McFadden’s trusted associates, and received large quantities of heroin from McFadden for distribution to lower-level dealers.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca L. Silinski prosecuted the case on behalf of the government.

According to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office, the investigation leading to the indictment of SCO included the FBI, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Allegheny County Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, and Monroeville, Pittsburgh, Shaler Twp. and Wilkinsburg police.

Originally published June 07, 2023.

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