BISMARK, NORTH DAKOTA – United States Attorney Drew Wrigley announced that United States District Court Judge Daniel L. Hovland has sentenced Jorge Pitts, AKA “Jose”, age 30 of Detroit, Michigan, to 10 years in federal prison for Possession with Intent to Distribute Oxycodone and Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person. Judge Hovland also sentenced Pitts to 3 years supervised release and a $200 Special Assessment.
On January 25, 2018, Pitts was stopped for traffic violations in New Town, ND. In response to the defendant’s suspicious behavior at the scene of the stop, a drug detection canine was deployed and detected drugs in Pitts’ vehicle. During a subsequent search of the vehicle, officers found 1,650 oxycodone 30-mg pills separated into multiple plastic baggies concealed inside the driver’s side door panel. In this same area of the vehicle, Officers also located a loaded Sig Sauer .40 caliber pistol with a 12-round magazine and 13 rounds of .40 caliber ammunition. Pitts later pleaded guilty and admitted traveling to the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation from Michigan on multiple occasions beginning in or about 2016 and transporting between 800 and1,000 oxycodone 30-mg pills for distribution per trip. Pitts has a weapons felony conviction in 2009 and a possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in 2012, both of which make it illegal for him to carry a firearm or ammunition.
“Pitts was carrying illegal opioids with a street value of $130,000, and was bringing $70,000 in pills every time he trafficked this poison from Detroit to North Dakota,” said United States Attorney Drew Wrigley, “those drug and firearm offenses landed him right where he belongs, far away in federal prison for the next decade.”
This case was investigated by the Mandan Hidatsa & Arikara Division of Drug Enforcement; New Town Police Department; and Homeland Security Investigations, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rick L. Volk.