Johnstown Man Stopped in Butler County Had Illegal Loaded Handgun, Heroin and Crack Cocaine

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – A Cambria County resident pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon, carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime and possession with intent to distribute heroin and crack cocaine, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Andrew Edwards, age 32, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to three counts before Senior United States Circuit Court Judge D. Michael Fisher.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on April 11, 2016, Edwards was a passenger in a vehicle stopped for traffic violations in Middlesex Township, Butler County. The driver gave the officer permission to search the vehicle. In the backseat of the vehicle, where Edwards had been seated, officers observed a jacket and a backpack. From the jacket, officers recovered 528 bags of heroin, and a plastic baggie containing crack cocaine. From the backpack, officers recovered a Springfield XD 45 caliber semi-automatic handgun with six rounds in the magazine. Personal items including a towel, hairbrush and a toothbrush were also in the backpack. The FBI laboratory determined that there was support for the inclusion of Edwards as a contributor to the DNA found on the toothbrush.

Judge Fisher scheduled sentencing for November 9, 2018. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than five years and up to life 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 offenses and the prior criminal history of the defendant. Pending sentencing, the court ordered Edwards to remain detained.

Assistant United States Attorney Shanicka L. Kennedy is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Middlesex Township Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.