A Lehighton woman, who previously pleaded guilty to three drug related charges, was sentenced to a county prison term Monday in Carbon County court.
Emily James, 26, was sentenced by President Judge Roger N. Nanovic to serve four to 23 months in prison followed by one year probation, after the court rejected a plea by the defendant's attorney to place his client on probation.
James previously pleaded to one count each of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-heroin; criminal use of a communication facility to solicited drug sales; and possession of drug paraphernalia.
James was arrested by agents of the state Attorney General's office.
James was charged after agents found her and a co-defendant at a Franklin Township motel room selling heroin on May 13, 2008. She was charged with the criminal use charge on May 21, 2006, for using a cell phone to arrange for drug deals. The AG arrest report said that the charge was the result of an ongoing investigation of drug trafficking in the county during the period of October 2006 to October 2008. The paraphernalia count stems from a April 11, 2008 incident at the Lehighton Cemetery filed by borough police.
Defense Atty. George Dydynsky asked Nanovic to impose a time served or probation term because James had turned her life around. He said she had gone through rehabilitation programs, got a job and is doing "all the right things."
Nanovic said despite the fact that none of the charges she pleaded to concerned direct drug sales, a presentence investigation report by the adult probation office indicates that James was involved in drug selling at various locations in the county.
Nanovic said he recognized that James has attempted to regain control of her life and noted that she is currently involved in counseling sessions, but he added that a sentence is not only intended for rehabilitation of a defendant but to send a message to the community that such conduct would not be tolerated.
The prison term was imposed on the possession with intent count. The additional year probation was imposed on the criminal use charge. Another year probation was imposed on the paraphernalia count but that runs concurrent to the others.
Nanovic also ordered that James get drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations and follow any recommendations for treatment; supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee; zero tolerance imposed on D&A use; have no contact with any co-defendants; get her General Education Dipolma (GED); and is eligible for the re-entry program; and pay a $50 per month supervision fee.
She was given credit for 54 days spent in jail on the charges and will begin the jail term at noon on Feb. 8.