A former Ringgold schoolteacher has been sentenced in federal court for her participation in one of the largest cocaine stings in Western Pennsylvania.

U.S. District Judge Mark R. Hornak on Wednesday approved a sentence of 30 months of probation for Renee Kinder of Donora on a felony charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine, federal court records show. She pleaded guilty in the case in April 2018.

Hornak waived fining Kinder because of her inability to pay one, online court records show.

Kinder was among 39 people who were indicted in the case after investigators found a large quantity of marijuana and 52 kilos of cocaine inside a recreational vehicle they followed to Penn Hills Nov. 5, 2017.

Kinder, who taught remedial reading at Ringgold Elementary School South in Carroll Township, bought cocaine several times from Brandon Thomas, an alleged mid-level dealer from Donora between March and December of 2017. She was hired by Ringgold in 2006 and lost her job there following her indictment.

Federal prosecutors have said the suspects worked with reputed kingpin Don Juan Mendoza of Atlanta to ship drugs by vans or RVs from California to Georgia to be sold in the Pittsburgh area.

Most of the cases remain pending before the court.

Staff Writer

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley.

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