Somerset County Woman Conspired to Distribute Cocaine
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A resident of Tire Hill, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Nichole L. Rankin, 25, 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 Nov. 2011 to July 18, 2012, Rankin conspired to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.
Judge Gibson scheduled sentencing for Feb. 18, 2014, at 10 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.
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 Rankin.
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