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Pagans biker gang member to be sentenced on drug trafficking charges - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Richard J. Speciale, known as "Big Rick," is scheduled for sentencing July 23 in Pagans mc emblem U.S. District Court in Clarksburg, W.Va., and faces at least 10 years behind bars.

Although Speciale pleaded guilty in 2011 to distributing cocaine in a case that began in Pennsylvania, his sentencing repeatedly has been delayed by motions on both sides.

The U.S. attorney's office in Wheeling declined comment Tuesday and Mr. Speciale's lawyer couldn't be reached for comment.

According to the FBI,  Speciale ran an enterprise that distributed cocaine from June 2007 to January 2010, when Pittsburgh police and state attorney general's agents arrested him.

Agents said he began dealing cocaine just three months after his release from federal prison on a previous cocaine conviction in federal court in Pittsburgh.  Speciale was sentenced in 1998 to a decade in prison after an investigation by federal agents and Shaler police during which he sold cocaine to undercover agents.

The current case, which stems from a larger investigation of the Pagans by a state grand jury sitting in Allegheny County, began with a controlled buy using an informant who had been arrested in 2009.

In December of that year, agents arranged for the informant to buy cocaine from Speciale at his home. The investigation also made use of extensive surveillance, including a videotape from a pole camera mounted outside the home.