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Johnstown man pleads guilty to heroin trafficking

Matthew John Claycomb

The Federal Bureau of investigation announced yesterday, that a Johnstown man pleaded guilty in federal court to charge of violating federal narcotics laws. United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced that Matthew John Claycomb, 22, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Kim R. Gibson. According to the Department of Justice, on Jan.25 2013, Matthew John Claycomb was found in possession of a Harrington and Richardson, Model 158, 410 gauge shotgun. On Mar. 1, 2011, Claycomb was convicted in Cambria County, Pa., of firearms not to be carried without a license, which is a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year. Federal law prohibits persons who have been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment exceeding one year from possessing firearms.

In addition to Claycomb 22, 3 others were indicted on the drug charges. The indictment presented to the court, from January 1, 2013, through January 25, 2013, also named Fred Claycomb, Jr., 50; Ronald Paul Copeland, 44; and Nichelle Seeley, 27.According to the indictment, the 4 suspects had conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute less than 100 grams of heroin. In addition to the dates above the 4 suspects allegedly sought to conspire and distribute heroin on the dates of January 17, Jan. 18 and January 25, 2013.

According to the sentencing guidelines, Claycomb could face a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

United States District Judge Kim R. Gibson heard the defendant’s guilty plea and arranged the date of December 2, 2014, at 10 a.m. for sentencing. The Laurel Highlands Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cambria County Drug Task Force conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie L. Haines prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

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