Elmora Resident Admits Participation in Drug Distribution Organization
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A resident of Elmora, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating various federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Paul X. Strittmatter, 30, pleaded guilty to three counts before United States District Judge Kim R. Gibson.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from March 2009 to May 9, 2011, Strittmatter conspired to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana; from July 2008 to May 9, 2011, he conspired to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine; and from Sept. 30, 2010, to May 9, 2011, he conspired to manufacture and possess with the intent to distribute 1,000 or more marijuana plants. In addition, evidence presented to the Court at the time of Strittmatter's guilty plea reflected that Strittmatter conspired with George M. Lowmaster and others in order to facilitate and promote Lowmaster's drug distribution organization.
Judge Gibson scheduled sentencing for Oct. 3, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of life in prison, a fine of $25,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Pending sentencing, the court continued Strittmatter on bond.
Assistant United States Attorney John J. Valkovci, Jr., is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
A joint task force, headed by the Laurel Highlands Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Strittmatter. Other agencies participating on the task force include the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; Pennsylvania State Police; the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office; the Cambria County District Attorney's Office; the Carrolltown Police Department; the Patton Police Department; the Ebensburg Police Department; the Portage Police Department and the Paint Township Police Department.