Johnstown Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug and Gun Charges
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A resident of Johnstown, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court in Johnstown to charges of violating federal narcotics and firearms laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Eric J. Westover, 30, of Johnstown, Pa., pleaded guilty to two counts of the indictment before United States District Judge Kim R. Gibson.
In connection with the guilty plea, on Dec. 18, 2013, Westover possessed less than 100 grams of heroin with the intent to distribute it.
In addition, in 2006 Westover had been convicted in Cambria County, Pa., of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. On Dec. 18, 2013, he unlawfully possessed a Bersa Arms pistol and a Harrington and Richardson pistol. Federal law prohibits persons who have been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year from possessing ammunition or firearms. Possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance is such a crime.
Judge Gibson scheduled sentencing for Oct. 4, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of $1,250,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney John J. Valkovci, Jr., is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Laurel Highlands Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Johnstown Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Westover.
According to Mr. Hickton, Westover is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a collaborative effort by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent, deter, and prosecute gun crime.