On paper, Andre Saunders was a used car salesman, making a measly $16,000 per year. However, he couldn’t explain the $370,000 Fayette County home that he was living in, another $350,000 house he was building close by and numerous luxury cars that he owned told the authorities that he was making money other ways. In February, Saunders admitted to being a drug dealer in court. For that admission, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
He was one of nearly 50 people indicted in Fayette and Washington counties following an FBI wiretap investigation and announced at a news conference in January in which U.S. Attorney David Hickton said interconnected drug rings were “menacing neighborhoods” in Fayette County.
Saunders was charged in September with 270 counts of laundering drug money as well as conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine. This winter he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and took responsibility for the money-laundering.
The feds say that Saunders and his crew shipped regular loads of 20 pounds and more of dope and coke into Pennsylvania from California and the Bronx. Packs would then be distributed among a network of dealers on the streets of Uniontown. Saunders would wash the cash “through real estate and by buying postal money orders, which he used to pay off at least 11 luxury cars and other debts.”
Upon a search of Saunders’ crib, police found $325,000 in vacuum-sealed bags of cash. Furthermore, two pounds of heroin was discovered in a stash box in his Beamer. Everything (including a necklace, a gun and $100,000) was forfeited to the government.