Ex-girlfriend gets probation for role in ‘Fat Cat’ case
HOLLIDAYSBURG — A Johnstown woman who helped Damon “Fat Cat” Devine run a heroin-selling operation will be on probation for five years, a sentence reflecting her cooperation with prosecutors.
Jasmine McGowan, 30, who acknowledged her own role in Devine’s efforts that brought “Dragon” heroin, a desired but deadly form of the substance, to Blair County in 2016 and 2017, rendered guilty pleas Friday before Blair County Judge Daniel J. Milliron.
Milliron presided over a joint trial in December 2019 for Devine and two associates, Jabu Robinson and James Everett-Bey, both of Philadelphia. All were convicted of numerous drug-trafficking offenses.
McGowan, during the trial, told the jury that she and Devine lived together in Johnstown when Devine arranged to transport heroin from the Philadelphia area for resale in Cambria and Blair counties, through a network involving several people.
Trial witnesses included those who said the heroin, bearing the stamp in the shape of a dragon, was very desirable even though its use caused overdoses.
When McGowan testified, she admitted to being involved in heroin sales and to paying household bills with drug money, at a time when neither she nor Devine had jobs.
On the night of Feb. 13, 2017, when she and Devine were making a heroin delivery outside the Motel 6 in Logan Township, McGowan had $7,126 in cash in her purse.
She started cooperating that night with police, by rendering information used in a search of her residence, Senior Deputy Attorney General David C. Gorman said Friday. Officers found and seized about 10,000 packets of heroin, $8,849 in cash and crack cocaine at her home.
Defense Attorney Kristen Anastasi told Milliron that McGowan has no prior record, something Gorman acknowledged when he advised Milliron that he was recommending a five-year probationary sentence.
“If not for Mr. Devine, I don’t believe I would have seen Ms. McGowan in a courtroom,” Gorman said after the sentencing hearing concluded. “She’s done her best to make amends.”
Milliron also recalled McGowan’s testimony and its importance to the prosecution.
“The only reason I took this plea is because I saw what Ms. McGowan did,” the judge said.
Devine, who represented himself during the trial, tried to convince the jury that the case against him was full of lies. He accused McGowan of lying on the witness stand and tried, unsuccessfully, to get Milliron to dismiss charges against him based on what Devine called perjury.
The jury took about 90 minutes to convict Devine, Robinson and Everett-Bey. Devine is now serving a 21.5- to 43-year sentence for his offenses.
Milliron imposed Devine’s sentence. He also sentenced Robinson to five to 10 years and Everett-Bey to two to four years in prison.
Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.