The Pennsylvania defense attorney who advertised himself as “thinking like a criminal” turned out to be one.
Torsten Ove of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (TNS) contributed to this report.
PITTSBURGH — A former Pittsburgh defense lawyer admitted on Tuesday that he thinks “like a criminal” in a bizarre online ad that went viral.
Following an FBI task force investigation in 2019, Daniel Muessig pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana and to possessing marijuana.
Muessig, 39, of Squirrel Hill, admitted that his Covode Street apartment served as a stash house and network headquarters.
In 2014, Muessig made international headlines with an obnoxious YouTube ad in which he and his friends pretended to commit crimes, with him asking, “Need a criminal defense lawyer? Then hire a lawyer who thinks like a criminal.”
He also stated that laws are “arbitrary” and that he fully comprehends his clients’ needs.
Even if he didn’t at the time, he does now because he pled guilty in front of US District Judge Arthur Schwab and became a felon.
Muessig and Hector Rodriguez were charged with marijuana distribution in April and May of this year and were indicted this summer.
The FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force obtained wiretaps on a phone used by drug dealer Chadlin Leavy of Wilkins, the heroin and cocaine supplier for the “SCO” drug gang in Braddock, in April 2019, according to Assistant US Attorney Kate Jordan.
The wiretaps revealed that Leavy was also dealing marijuana, with Jared Eck as his source.
Eck resupplied Leavy on Fridays, according to the wiretap.
Eck would get marijuana from Wayne Barker, who ran the stash house with Muessig, prior to meeting with Leavy.
Agents observed Eck and others carrying large trash bags out of the apartment and placing them in vehicles parked on the street, usually with a sticker indicating the type of marijuana.
Several boxes of marijuana, packaging material, a vacuum sealer, and a money counter were discovered during a search of the apartment.
Judge Schwab has scheduled a sentencing date for March.
Muessig is facing a mandatory sentence of five years in prison.
Vanderslice, Eck, and Wayne Barker have all pleaded guilty and will be sentenced soon.
William Barker is facing a slew of charges…
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