A Lehigh County man admitted to his part in multiple thefts at the Wal-Mart store in Mahoning Township, while a drug dealer was among a total of 14 defendants in pending cases to enter guilty pleas on Thursday in Carbon County court.
Judge Steven R. Serfass accepted the pleas.
Trujillo Luis Daniel Gonzalez, 25, of Allentown, and formerly of Tobyhanna, pleaded guilty to his part in multiple thefts incidents at the Wal-Mart store. He also pleaded to drug charges.
Gonzalez and co-defendants entered the store on several occasions and removed various items including electronic devices.
During one of the incidents he was caught on surveillance cameras and later stopped by police. Found in the vehicle was various drug items including heroin.
He pleaded in two pending cases. He entered pleas to criminal conspiracy-retail theft, as a felony three, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a small amount of marijuana. The incidents occurred during August and September of 2012.
Gonzalez claimed he committed the crimes due to an addiction to heroin.
On the conspiracy count Serfass sentenced him to serve six to one day less 24 months in the county prison with credit for 25 days already served. On the other counts he was placed on probation for a total of 24 months, consecutive to the first charge.
He was also ordered to make total restitution to Wal-Mart in the amount of $3,250.32; render a total of 200 hours of community service, get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, supply a DNA sample, and zero tolerance on D&A use. He must also pay a fine of $100.
Deborah Murray, 39, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of delivery of a controlled substance-percocet.
She was arrested by agents of the state Attorney General's office for an incident on Dec. 20, 2010, in the area of N. Second and Coal sts., Lehighton. She sold 45 tablets of the drug to a undercover agent.
Serfass deferred sentencing to a later date.
Kyle Hagenbuch, 19, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count each of terroristic threats and theft.
He was arrested on May 17 when Lehighton police were called to the home of his mother, DeAnne Eckley, 342 N. Second St. Police said his mother learned he was trying to sell air conditioners that belonged to her on the internet. She confronted him about the sales and he then made threats to harm her.
Hagenbuch was on probation at the time of the incident and will have his probation revoked, He will be resentenced to serve six to 12 months in prison.
On the threats count Serfass sentenced him to serve three to one day less 12 months in prison, consecutive to the probation sentence, followed by one year of probation. On the theft count he was placed on probation for a year, consecutive to the other charges.
He was also ordered to make total restitution of $450, and render a total of 150 hours of community service when released from jail.
Other defendants who entered guilty pleas included:
Earl William Scott, 52, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of indecent assault.
He was charged by state police at Lehighton after a 17-year-old girl reported to them in January that Scott sexually assaulted her about eight or nine years earlier at a residence in Lower Towamensing Township.
When confronted by troopers Scott admitted to the incident.
Serfass deferred sentencing because the charge falls under the provisions of Megan's Law. Scott must submit to a sexual offenders evaluation.
Larry J. Moser Jr., 34, of Lehighton, pleaded in two pending cases. He pleaded to one count of simple assault for an incident on April 26, in the trestle area along the Lehigh River in Lehighton. The victim of the assault was Michael Taschler. Moser admitted stabbing Taschler in the shoulder with a knife. Moser said there was a prior incident with him and Taschler that led to the new incident. A charge of aggravated assault was dropped in a plea bargain.
He also pleaded to one count of unsworn falsification to authorities for an incident on Aug. 9 in Summit Hill.
He was involved in an accident and fled the scene on foot leaving his vehicle behind. When police confronted him he first claimed that his car had been stolen and he wasn't driving. He later admitted being involved in the crash.
Serfass deferred sentencing and ordered the adult probation office to prepare a presentence investigation (PSI) report.
Jason Troy Geesey, 32, of Slatington, pleaded to one count of theft by deception. He admitted entering the Mauch Chunk Pharmacy in Jim Thorpe on Nov. 21, 2012, and giving a check for $16.63 for items purchased. The check was drawn on a closed account.
Geesey was given a chance to make good on the check, but did not, and the charges were filed.
Geesey told the court he has made full restitution of $41.63 to cover the check and bank charges.
Serfass placed him on probation for a year. Geesey is currently an inmate in the Northampton County prison facing a probation violation charge.
Jonathan M. Lopresti, 26, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of theft. He was arrested on Jan. 2 by Jim Thorpe police for taking a Winchester 12 gauge shotgun from Joseph Bunso, of 26 E. Fourth St.,
Serfass accepted the plea and deferred sentencing ordering a PSI.
James Lewis, 22, of Philadelphia, pleaded to one count of harassment, as a summary offense, with a charge of simple assault dropped in a plea bargain.
Lewis was charged by state police at Lehighton for assaulting Stephen W. Marsh at the Camp Adams forestry camp in Penn Forest Township, where Lewis was placed by the Philadelphia County court.
Serfass imposed a fine of $300.
Lewis is currently in the county prison after his parole on another assault count was revoked. He was resentenced in that case to serve out is maximum which runs to Oct. 13.
The following pleaded guilty to driving under the influence (DUI) charges.
Ronald M. Asbath, 43, of Northampton, pleaded to DUI in the operation of a boat. He was arrested on May 5 at Beltzville State Park in Towamensing Township, for operating a small boat while under the influence. He was also cited for public drunkenness. Given a test, the result was .25 BAC.
Serfass sentenced him to serve five days to six months in jail, a fine of $300, must attend a boaters safety course, get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service.
He will begin the jail term at 9 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 19.
On the drunkenness charge he was fined $300.
Michael T. Graziano, 34, of Jim Thorpe, was arrested on April 14 at Bridge and Church sts., in Weissport, by state police at Lehighton. Given a test, the result was .13BAC.
A first offense, he was placed on probation for six months and ordered to pay a fine of $300, get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service.
On two motor vehicle code violations he was fined a total of $35 and costs.
Jason Rao, 40, of Lehighton, was arrested on Nov. 15, 2012, along Blakeslee Blvd. East by Mahoning Township police. Given a test, the result showed the presence of a controlled substance in his system. He also pleaded to two summary motor vehicle code violations.
Sentencing was deferred.
Keith Robert Gasser Sr., 40, of Walnutport, and formerly of Lehighton, was arrested on April 29 along Mahoning St., by Lehighton police. Given a test, the result was .15BAC.
Serfass sentenced him to serve 48 hours to six months in jail, a fine of $500, one year license suspension, and get a D&A evaluation.
He will begin the jail term at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17.
Stephen M. Soldridge, 45, of Slatington, was arrested on March 17 along SR209 in Mahoning Township by state police at Lehighton. Given a test, the result showed the presence of a controlled substance.
Sentencing was deferred.
Edward J. Caley, 30, of Whitehall, was arrested on March 30 along SR248 in Palmerton by state police at Lehighton. Given a test, the result was. 10BAC.
Serfass sentenced him to serve five days to six months in jail, a fine of $300, one year license suspension, get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service.
He will begin the jail term at 9 a.m. on Aug. 23.
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.