Two pawn shop owners, who purchased items stolen from a drug ring that used the money to purchase illegal drugs for sale, were placed in a probation program Monday by Carbon County judges.

Golden dope

Waheeb Girgis, 56, and Donald H. Dorward Sr., 65, both of Lehighton, appeared in separate courtrooms to be sentenced. Girgis appeared before Senior Judge Richard W. Webb and Dorward before President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II. Both had previously entered plea bargains with the district attorney's office.

Girgis was placed in the county's Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP) with electronic monitoring for six months by Webb on a felony three charge of receiving stolen property. Webb also ordered the IPP time will be followed by two years of probation.

Dorward was given the same sentence by Nanovic.

The two men were among 12 suspects arrested by agents of the state Attorney's General Office, and county police and drug task members, who were charged as being part of a four county drug ring that burglarized homes and businesses, sold the items at pawn shops, such as the ones operated by Girgis and Dorward in Lehighton, and used the money to buy drugs.

At the time of the arrests District Attorney Gary F. Dobias said is was "Operation Golden Dope." The operation began in 2007 and continued thorugh 2009 until the arrests were made. It operated in Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton and Schuylkill counties.

In addition to the probation sentence, the two men were ordered to pay fines of $5,000 each, render 500 hours of community service each, zero tolerance on drug and alcohol use, and supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee.

Dorward was given credit for four days spent in prison on the charge.

Each must also pay court costs, which average about $1,000, and pay a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation.