Johnstown man sentenced to more than three years in prison for crack cocaine violations


Date: April 2, 2024


Johnstown, PA — A resident of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was sentenced in federal court to 41 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, on his conviction of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.

United States Senior District Judge Kim R. Gibson imposed the sentence on Shawn Howard.

According to information presented to the Court, from in and around June 2021 to July 2021 in the Western District of Pennsylvania, Howard conspired to distribute and possessed with intent to distribute a quantity of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base, in the form commonly known as crack. Howard was intercepted on a federal wiretap obtaining quantities of crack cocaine that he distributed to others.

Assistant United States Attorney Maureen Sheehan-Balchon prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Olshan commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Laurel Highlands Resident Agency and Homeland Security Investigations for the investigation that led to the successful prosecution of Howard. Additional agencies participating in the investigation included the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (CI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, United States Postal Inspection Service, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Pennsylvania State Police, Cambria County District Attorney’s Office, Indiana County District Attorney’s Office, Cambria County Sheriff’s Office, Cambria Township Police Department, Indiana Borough Police Department, Johnstown Police Department, Upper Yoder Township Police Department, Richland Police Department, Ferndale Police Department, and other local law enforcement agencies.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multiagency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

CI is the criminal investigative arm of the IRS, responsible for conducting financial crime investigations, including tax fraud, narcotics trafficking, money-laundering, public corruption, healthcare fraud, identity theft and more. CI special agents are the only federal law enforcement agents with investigative jurisdiction over violations of the Internal Revenue Code, obtaining a more than a 90 percent federal conviction rate. The agency has 20 field offices located across the U.S. and 12 attaché posts abroad.