Person of interest in case of missing Westmoreland County woman heads to prison on unrelated charges

SOMERSET COUNTY, Pa. — A person of interest in the case of a missing Westmoreland County mother is heading to prison on unrelated charges.

Thomas Stanko was sentenced to seven years in prison on Wednesday for illegally possessing guns.

Stanko is a convicted felon, meaning he isn’t allowed to own or carry any guns.

Investigators found 17 guns inside his properties in Unity Township when they were searching for evidence in the disappearance of his estranged girlfriend, Cassandra Gross.

Three of the guns were stolen property.

The judge sentenced Stanko to the maximum sentencing guidelines because he said Stanko had a large stash, which he knew was not allowed.

He also has convictions where he’s used those guns to shoot at people.

The judge said he hopes this sentence will prevent Stanko from committing more crimes.

Stanko has never been charged in the disappearance of Gross, even though he was called a person of interest.

Gross’ death was ruled a homicide.

Stanko must also serve three years of probation after being released from prison.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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