Johnstown Man Pleads Guilty In Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A resident of Johnstown, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Thomas Holko, 29, of Arbutus Village, Johnstown, Pa., 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, Holko conspired to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. In addition, evidence presented to the Court at the time of Holko's guilty plea reflected that Holko conspired with George M. Lowmaster and others to facilitate and promote Lowmaster's drug distribution organization.
Judge Gibson scheduled sentencing for Oct. 16, 2012, at 9:30 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 40 years in prison, a fine of $5,000,000, 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 revoked Holko's 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 Holko. 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.
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