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Press Release

Erie Man Pleads to Cocaine Possession Charge

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

ERIE, Pa. - A resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal drugs laws, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

Joel Nicholas Gustave, Jr., 40, of Erie, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on or about November 1, 2019, Gustave possessed with the intent to distribute 840.8 grams cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance.

Judge Baxter scheduled sentencing for March 1, 2022 at 1:30 p.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 prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued Gustave on bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Paul S. Sellers is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Erie Area Gang Law Enforcement (EAGLE), Safe Streets task force, which is comprised of investigators from the FBI, the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Erie Police Department, the Oil City Police Department, and the Titusville Police Department, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Gustave.

Updated October 27, 2021

Drug Trafficking