A Nesquehoning man admitted breaking into a borough property and was sentenced to a county prison term. He was one of 15 defendants to enter a guilty plea on Tuesday before Carbon County Judge Joseph J. Matika.
Christopher M. Lower, 32, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal trespass, as a felony two, for an incident that occurred on Sept. 4, 2011, at 150 E. Columbus St., in the New Columbus section of the borough.
Police were dispatched to the area for a reported break-in. Lower had entered the building by breaking a window. When police arrived Lower had fled on foot but was later located and charged. A burglary count was dropped in a plea bargain with the district attorney's office.
Because of an extensive prior criminal record, Matika said a prison term was warranted. He sentenced Lower to serve six to 12 months in the county prison and ordered he render 50 hours of community service when released on parole and supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee. He will begin the jail term on July 16 at 9 a.m. and was granted immediate work release privileges.
It was noted Lower has already paid damages caused in the incident.
Other defendants who entered pleas included:
Tyrone Julius Guzman Jr., 22, of Hazleton, pleaded guilty to one count each of simple assault with a deadly weapon and criminal trespass, a felony three.
State police at Hazleton said Guzman was one of five who entered a home at 96 Main St., in the village of Coxeville, Banks Township, during the early morning hours of Jan. 16 and assaulted Steven F. Storm and others. A party was going on at the time.
Troopers said a phone call between Storm and one of the assailants occurred prior to the group going to the home. There was apparently a prior incident
involving the individuals, troopers said.
Guzman is the last of the group charged to enter a plea and ben sentenced.
Matika sentenced him to serve four to 23 months in the county prison and ordered he render 100 hours of community service when released on parole, have no contact with Storm, and supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee. The sentence was on both counts and he was given credit for 126 days spent in prison on the charges and was immediately paroled.
John Provislero, 18, of Lansford, pleaded guilty to two counts of statutory sexual assault in two pending cases, both filed by Lansford police.
Police charged on April 1 at a residence along E. Kline Avenue, Provislero had sexual intercourse with a then 14-year-old girl. Police charged in the second case he had sexual intercourse with another then 14-year-old girl at the same residence.
Matika deferred sentencing and ordered the adult probation office prepare a presentence investigation (PSI) report.
Frederick Ragland, 43, of Albrightsville, pleaded guilty in two pending cases to one count each of endangering the welfare of a child and welfare fraud.
In the endangering count state police at Fern Ridge responded to the Indian Mountain Lake development in Penn Forest Township on June 28, 2011, for a four-year-old child wondering along near a lake in the development.
Troopers said the child was left in the care of a 17-year-old who had told Ragland he had to go to work and that the defendant was to watch the boy. Troopers alleged that Ragland knew he had to watch the boy but stopped at a bar for a drink after the teen had left.
The Department of Welfare charged that Ragland received $10,358.70 in public assistance funds at a time in 2010 when he was not entitled to the money.
Matika deferred sentencing to a later date. Ragland is currently in the state prison system being held on a detainer from New York state for a probation violation.
David J. Kline, 20, of Walnutport, and formerly of Palmerton, pleaded in two pending cases. He pleaded to one count of possession of a controlled substance-heroin, for an incident on Feb. 2, near the railroad tracks south of the 100 block of Delaware Avenue, in Palmerton. Police found him in the area and during a routine patdown drugs were found in his possession.
He also pleaded to one count of burglary for an incident on June 28, 2011, when he entered the home of Fred and Angie Valania, at 122 Horseshoe Lane, in East Penn Township, and took two handguns. He later sold the guns for money to buy drugs.
On the burglary charge Kline was sentenced to serve one to 11 and a half months in the county prison and ordered to render 50 hours of community service when released on parole, supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee, make restitution of $500 to the victims, have no contact with the victims, get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, and zero tolerance imposed on D&A use.
On the drug count he was placed on probation for a year, concurrent with the burglary charge.
Christopher Miller, 23, of Lansford, pleaded to one count of indecent assault. He admitted inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl on April 14 in a home along Oak St., in Lansford.
Matika deferred sentencing and ordered Miller to get a mental health evaluation prior to sentencing. Matika, who noted that Miller has three prior convictions for indecent assault, told Miller he must to submit to a sexual offenders evaluation.
Cody Scott Kmetz, 20, of Nesquehoning, pleaded to one count each of driving under the influence (DUI) of a controlled substance and inhaling a toxic substance-Falcon air duster.
He was arrested by Nesquehoning police along SR209 on May 3 after being involved in an accident. He fled the scene on foot into nearby woods but was later apprehended.
On the DUI count Matika sentenced him to serve 72 hours to six months in jail, a fine of $1,000, one year license suspension, get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service. He was given credit for three days spent in jail on the charge and paroled.
On the inhaling count he was placed on probation for six months concurrent with the DUI charge.
He remains in jail for a probation violation.
Glennis Edward Park, 28, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of theft. He was arrested on Dec. 1, 2011, for removing jewelry from the home of Teresa Vargo, 220 Princeton Ave., Palmerton.
Matika deferred sentencing and ordered a PSI. Park pleaded guilty in June to one count of receiving stolen property and is scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 13. Matika deferred that sentencing to a new date when both cases will be handled.
Timothy Michael Ahner, 47, of Lansford, pleaded to one count of DUI, a first offense. He was arrested on Nov. 13, 2011, along SR443 in Mahoning Township, by state police at Lehighton. Given a test, the result was .09BAC.
Matika placed him on probation for six months and ordered he pay a fine of $300, get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service.
Bryan James Baker, 25, of Weatherly, pleaded guilty to one count of receiving stolen property, as a felony two. He admitted to his part in a handgun from 33 Pine St., Weatherly, on Jan. 16, where he had been working with a contractor doing work in the home.
Matika deferred sentencing and ordered a PSI.
Steven White, 20, of Nesquehoning, pleaded to one count of simple assault. He was arrested for an incident on Dec. 25, 2011, at the county prison when he threw a white powder substance on a corrections officer.
Matika deferred sentencing to a later date.
Kaela Marie Cusanelli, 25, of Nesquehoning, pleaded to two counts of DUI in separate incidents. She was arrested on Aug. 29, 2011, along Long Run Rd., in Franklin Township, by state police at Lehighton. Given a test, the result was .21 BAC.
The second arrest occurred on Dec. 4, 2011, along SR93 in Nesquehoning and charged by borough police. Given a test, the result was .21BAC.
Matika deferred sentencing to a later date.
Melissa McGuire, 28, of Coaldale, pleaded guilty to one count of defiant trespass, as a summary offense. She was arrested on Jan. 10 at the residence of Amanda Reed, 272 W. Ludlow St., Summit Hill. She entered the property after being told she was not welcome.
Matika imposed a fine of $200.
Scott R. Schulte, 23, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested in November 2011 following a hit and run accident at W. Ridge and Cortright sts, in Lansford. Given a test, the result was .24BAC.
Matika deferred sentencing to a later date due to a question concerning restitution, which will also be determined on the day of sentencing.
Eric K. Borger, 49, of Kunkletown, pleaded to one count of criminal mischief. He was arrested by state police at Lehighton for damaging the swimming pool of Theresa Quinn, at 40 Quinn Lane, in Towamensing Township on July 3, 2010. Troopers said Borger had a relationship with Quinn's daughter and the incident stems from a argument the two were having. At the time the daughter was living with her mother.
Matika placed Borger on probation for a year and ordered he pay total restitution for damages of $2,689, render 50 hours of community service, have no contact with Theresa Quinn, and attend and complete a anger management course. The term runs concurrent with a probation period he is serving in Monroe County.
Each defendant sentenced must also pay court costs, which average close to $1,000, and pay a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.