Carrolltown Man Pleads Guilty In Marijuana Growing Scheme
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A resident of Carrolltown, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to manufacture and possess marijuana plants, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Rodney Lowmaster, 56, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Kim R. Gibson.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from July 2008 to May 9, 2011, Rodney Lowmaster 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 Rodney Lowmaster's guilty plea reflected that he conspired with George M. Lowmaster and others to grow marijuana plants with the intent to facilitate and promote George M. Lowmaster's drug distribution organization.
Judge Gibson scheduled sentencing for Nov. 6, 2012, at 11 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of life in prison, a fine of $10,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Pending sentencing, the court continued Rodney Lowmaster 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 Rodney Lowmaster. 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.