Leechburg man gets 5 years on federal cocaine charges
A Leechburg man is serving a 5-year prison sentence in connection with a conspiracy to bring about 35 pounds of cocaine into the Alle-Kiski Valley.
Travis J. Lasko, 48, of Spang Avenue was ordered to serve five years of supervised probation after he completes his sentence, Judge Greg Kays ruled Monday in Kansas City, according to a spokesman for the federal court for the Western District of Missouri.
According to police, the cocaine was inside an old jukebox in an SUV pulled over by a state trooper along a busy highway in Missouri.
Louis J. Machen, 65, of Lynn Ann Drive, Plum, was driving. His sentencing is scheduled for next month.
Lasko could have received 10 years or more plus a large fine if he was found guilty of charges of selling and conspiracy to sell more than 5 kilograms of cocaine.
But in an agreement, Lasko pleaded guilty to one charge only, and the government dropped the first charge.
Lasko's Kansas City attorney, Kevin O'Brien, said Lasko and Machen qualify under a federal “safety valve” sentencing exemption. The exemption is for non-violent people with little or no federal criminal records.
“Mr. Lasko has a minimal criminal history, and most of it is very old,” O'Brien said.
Lasko served a federal sentence for making methamphetamine but much of that sentence was overturned, O'Brien said.
On Monday, Kays ruled Lasko qualified for the “safety valve” exemption.
Kays' sentencing order asks the Missouri prisons bureau to send Lasko to a prison in Pennsylvania, where he can complete a 500-hour residential substance abuse treatment program.
Lasko is the same man who is suing local police.
In a pending federal lawsuit, Lasko is suing Leechburg Borough, its police department and the Armstrong County district attorney for his 2006 arrest for marijuana possession.
His sentence for that arrest was vacated but only after he had served 16 months behind bars.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Boscov’s could help sustain decade-old Pittsburgh Mills
- Entertainment attractions going strong in Pittsburgh Mills mall
- Mia Z voices no regrets after failing to advance on NBC show
- Turbine touted as ‘green’ to power historic Penn Township barn
- West Deer burglary suspect arrested
- Route 819 in Bell Township reopened after fatal car accident
- Fawn man accused in assault sentenced to probation
- Valley residents flock to Pittsburgh Mills for ‘Hard-To-Recycle’ collection
- Bank attempts to foreclose on Heights Plaza in Harrison
- Arnold family back home after gas leak
- Kiski Area students reach out to community for Global Youth Service Day