Drug kingpin receives 20-year prison sentence
JOHNSTOWN — A Cambria County man regarded as a kingpin of a regional drug distribution network was ordered Tuesday to serve 20 years in federal prison and 10 years of probation following his release, after his conviction on multiple narcotics and money-laundering charges.
U.S. District Judge Kim Gibson, of Johnstown, sentenced George Lowmaster, 44, of Carrolltown, for his part in the narcotics peddling ring so wide ranging that federal agents arrested 15 other suspects with him in May 2011.
In addition to the prison term, Lowmaster was ordered to forfeit more than $691,000 cash, three vehicles and six pieces of real estate connected with the drug organization.
Lowmaster had been indicted for conspiring to grow and distribute more than 1,000 marijuana plants between Sept. 30, 2010, and May 9, 2011.
Investigators held Lowmaster responsible for distributing cocaine — no more than 17.6 ounces — on July 23, 2008, and Aug. 21, 2010, and with conspiring to launder money representing proceeds of the drug distribution organization between 2008 and 2011.
In a complaint filed by Agent Sandra Maier of the FBI, she charged that investigators monitored hundreds of telephone calls between Lowmaster and customers, distributors and co-conspirators arranging the purchase of marijuana, cocaine and prescription pills.
The complaint details the arrangements made between Lowmaster and a partner in Eugene, Ore., to launder money and ship marijuana to Cambria County, and names the owners of several Cambria County businesses who sold narcotics on Lowmaster’s behalf.
U.S. Attorney David Hickton, of Pittsburgh, said a joint task force of investigators from the Laurel Highlands office of the FBI and other agencies including the IRS, state police, Pennsylvania attorney general, Cambria County district attorney and municipal officers from Ebensburg, Patton, Carrolltown, Portage and Paint Township took part in bringing the conviction against Lowmaster.