Feb. 23—A Pittsburgh man was sentenced to four years in federal prison followed by four years of supervised release in connection with a drug trafficking and money laundering operation, according to prosecutors.
Anthony Bentley, 45, agreed to forfeit 10 watches, a diamond ring, three sets of body armor and about $293,000, according to court filings.
Bentley pleaded guilty in December 2019 to charges of conspiracy, distribution of cocaine, money laundering and possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon. Prosecutors said he was involved with dealing cocaine, including more than a pound sold to an informant in 2015. Profits from the drug sales were funneled into five real estate transactions between 2013 and 2015 in Pittsburgh and its suburbs.
Searches of four properties he owned or controlled turned up 32 firearms and ammunition, including a fully automatic M-16 rifle, prosecutors said. As a felon, Bentley was prohibited from possessing any firearms.
He was arrested in August 2018.
Prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum that Bentley's actions showed a "an unusual degree of sophistication" over several years. Some of the weapons seized were found in bags at Bentley's properties, prosecutors said.
"The defendant, through his involvement in significant drug trafficking, contributed to the ills facing the citizens of Western Pennsylvania, including those living in his own community," prosecutors wrote in the memo.
Bentley ran a trucking and hauling business and defense attorneys suggested in court filings that some of the proceeds from the drug activity went to help with medical expenses for an ill child. Letters submitted to the court in support of the defendant described him as a loving father and husband.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, email@example.com or via Twitter .