Safe Streets Task Force Investigation Leads to Drug Charges Against 5
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - On Nov. 7, 2012, two residents of Windber, Pa., two residents of Waynesboro, Pa., and a resident of Tire Hill, Pa., were indicted by a federal grand jury in Johnstown on charges of violating various federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
The three-count indictment named as defendants the following individuals:
- Jamie H. Porcher, 27, of Windber, Pa.;
- Corey D. Harley, 38, of Waynesboro, Pa.;
- Kenneth Biser, 59, of Waynesboro, Pa.;
- Nichole L. Rankin, 25, of Tire Hill, Pa.; and
- Peter Donato, 29, of Windber, Pa.
According to the indictment presented to the court, from Nov. 2011 to July 18, 2012, the defendants conspired to possess and distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine; on July 18, 2012, Porcher and Harley possessed 500 grams of cocaine with the intent to distribute it; and from June 10 to June 11, 2012, Porcher, Harley, Rankin and Donato conspired to possess and distribute less than 100 grams of heroin.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 80 years in prison, a fine of $7,000,000, or both, for Porcher and Harley; 40 years in prison, a fine of $5,000,000, or both, for Biser; and 60 years in prison, a fine of $6,000,000, or both, for Rankin and Donato. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense(s) and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney John J. Valkovci, Jr., is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Safe Streets Task Force initiative comprised of the Laurel Highlands Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pa. Attorney General's Office, the Blair County Drug Task Force, the Cambria County Drug Task Force, the Somerset County Drug Task Force, the Roaring Spring Borough Police Dept. and the Paint Township Police Dept. conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of these defendants.
An indictment or information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.