Johnstown Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Heroin, Illegally Possessing Firearms
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A resident of Johnstown, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal narcotics and firearms laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Michael N. Cooper, 32, pleaded guilty to the indictment before United States District Judge Kim R. Gibson.
In connection with the guilty plea, on each of the dates of June 2, June 16 and June 21, 2011, Cooper distributed less than 100 grams of heroin. On June 23, 2011, he possessed with intent to distribute less than 100 grams of heroin and was found in possession of a Romarm/Cugir 7.62 caliber rifle and a Benelli 12 gauge shotgun. On June 26, 2002 , Cooper was convicted in Cambria Co., Pa., of delivery of a controlled substance, which is a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year. Federal law prohibits persons who have been convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year from possessing firearms.
Judge Gibson scheduled sentencing for April 22, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 90 years in prison, a fine of $4,250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history of the defendant.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie L. Haines is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Laurel Highlands Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Cambria County Drug Task Force and the Johnstown Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Cooper.
According to Mr. Hickton, Michael N. Cooper is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a collaborative effort by federal, state and local law enforcement, agencies, prosecutors and communities to prevent, deter and prosecute gun crime.
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