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Press Release

Armstrong County Man Sentenced to Prison for Conspiring to Distribute Marijuana

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH – An Armstrong County resident has been sentenced in federal court to 37 months’ imprisonment, three years’ supervised release, and fined $3,000.00 on his conviction of conspiring to distribute marijuana, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

United States District Judge William S. Stickman, IV imposed the sentence on Stephen Lerch, 28, of Apollo, Pennsylvania.

According to information presented to the court, Lerch had been receiving packages of marijuana and THC vaping cartridges at various locations situated in and around the Apollo area from a source based in Colorado. The conspiracy ended on October 2, 2018, when task force officers and agents from the DEA executed a search warrant at Lerch’s residence. During the search, the DEA recovered marijuana, two firearms, a money counter, and $25,161.00 in cash. Investigators also learned that Lerch maintained accounts at S & T Bank and TD Ameritrade. The funds contained in those accounts were subsequently seized pursuant to search warrants.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Stickman denied Lerch’s request for a sentence of home confinement, noting the serious nature of the offense. The Court also ordered that Lerch forfeit a total of $102,290.70 and a 2017 Subaru Crosstrek to the United States.

Assistant United States Attorney Michael Leo Ivory prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Brady commended the Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the West Metro Drug Task Force-Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County, Colorado, for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Lerch.

Updated August 5, 2020

Drug Trafficking