Eleven people with pending criminal cases entered guilty pleas in Carbon County court, including one who was named part of a burglary-drug selling operation at a press conference yesterday. All appeared Tuesday before Senior Judge Richard W. Webb.
Edward Cesanek, 29, of Hunlock Creek, Luzerne Couty, and formerly of Nesquehoning, pleaded guilty to three counts, including two of burglary, for incidents that occurred in 2009.
Cesanek was named a part of a multiple-county burglary and drug ring at a news conference held yesterday in the courthouse annex in Jim Thorpe. District Attorney Gary F. Dobias said Cesanek was one of 12 arrested. A story on the arrests can be found on page one of today's TIMES NEWS.
Cesanek admitted to entering the property of Greg and Jodi-Lee Duschak in Weissport on Feb. 21, 2009, and that of Stephen and Cecelia Hydro, in Jim Thorpe, on Dec. 12, 2009. In another incident on March 4, 2009, Nesquehoning police stopped Cesarnek along SR209 for a traffic violation and found he was driving a vehicle with a forged license plate and registration.
In the break-ins Cesanek took guns and cash along with some jewelry. He said he took the items to trade for heroin.
Webb accepted the pleas but deferred sentencing and ordered a presentence investigation (PSI) report be prepared the adult probation office. With the new charges facing Cesanek sentencing in the instant matter may not occurr for some time.
Scott Thomas Heffelfinger, 22, of Lehighton, pleaded guilty in five pending criminal cases involving break-in of various vehicles in Lehighton in July 2009.
In exchange for the five pleas, five other pending cases in the same crime spree will be dropped, but Heffelfinger must make restitution in all 10 cases.
Heffelfinger pleaded to five counts of receiving stolen property, with one involving the theft of a vehicle, while the others involves the taking of various items from the vehicles.
Webb accepted the pleas but deferred sentencing ordering a PSI which will include a total figure on restitution owed the victims.
Other defendants who entered guilty pleas included:
Ryan T. Miller, 27, of Tamaqua, pleaded to one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (CS)-heroin.
He was arrested by agents of the state Attorney General's office for a drug sale he made to an undercover agent on Dec. 1, 2008, in Nesquehoning. Another drug charge was dropped in a plea agreement.
Webb deferred sentencing and ordered a PSI.
Johnathan L. Geist, 21, of Allentown, pleaded to one count of possession of child pornography.
He was arrested on Sept. 12, 2008, after he showed a 17-year-old male three photographs of a naked 12-year-old girl which he had on his cellular phone. The incident occurred in Palmerton.
Webb deferred sentencing and ordered a PSI which will include a Megan's Law evaluation since the charge falls under the provisions of the act.
Ambrosio Perez-Vasquez, 27, of Hazleton, pleaded to one count of false identification to law enforcement.
He was arrested on July 13, 2009, along Broad St., in Beaver Meadows, when he was stopped for speeding, 51 miles-per-hour in a 35 zone. At the stop he gave the driver's license of another person. A check revealed that Perez-Vasquez was an illegal alien and the immigration department was contacted. He is currently working with the department in obtaining his green card. He has been in the United States for the past 10 years illegally, it was noted.
Webb placed him on probation for a year.
Robert Sellers Jr., 57, of Feeding Hills, Mass., pleaded to one count of driving under the influence (DUI). He was arrested on July 16, 2009, along the northeast extension of the turnpike in East Penn Township when state troopers from the Pocono barracks responded to a crash in the southbound Lehigh Tunnel.
Sellers was found to be the driver involved and had left the scene heading north in the southbound lane when stopped. Given at test, the result was .21BAC. Sellers said he didn't realized he had been in a crash. He also pleaded to two summary motor vehicle code violations.
Webb sentenced him to serve 72 hours to six months in jail, a fine of $500, a one year license suspension, and ordered to get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment.
On the two summary offenses he was fined a total of $50 and costs.
He began the jail term Tuesday.
Thomas Cancelliere, 56, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of possession of instruments of crime. He was arrested on Nov. 10, 2009, when state police at Lehighton served a search warrant on his home and found 25 weapons in his possession. Cancelliere is a convicted felon and is prohibited from having any weapons.
Some of the weapons found, however, are not considered under the law, such a flintlocks rifles, and will be returned to him but later turned over to family members.
Webb deferred sentencing and ordered a PSI which will include a mental health evaluation and to determine if he is eligibile for entry into the Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP).
Marc J. Digilio, 23, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of possession with intent to deliver a CS-heroin.
He was charged for the sale of 10 bags of heroin to an undercover state trooper on March 11.
Webb deferred sentencing an ordered a PSI which will include a D&A evaluation.
Nathanael Bernard Claudio, 19, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of receiving stolen proeprty.
He was arrested by state police at Lehighton on Feb. 5 for having a handgun and items stolen from Jennifer Lynn Marykwas of Penn Forest Township.
Webb deferred sentencing and ordered a PSI.
John Charles Knoskie, 54, of Albrightsville, pleaded to one count of DUI.
He was arrested on Jan. 19 along SR903 in Penn Forest Township after being involved in a one-vehicle crash. Given a test, the result was .25BAC.
Webb sentenced him to serve five days to six months in jail, a fine of $300, one year license suspension, and ordered to get a D&A evaluation. He will begin the jail term on Thursday at 9 a.m. and serve it on consecutive Thursdays.
Rachel Williams, 25, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of false reports.
She was arrested on Dec. 6, 2009, by Palmerton police. She reported she was the driver of a car involved in a crash when, in fact, she was not the driver. She was covering for a friend, police said.
Webb placed her on probation for six months.
All the defendants sentenced must pay court costs and a $50 per month supervision fee.