A Bethlehem man was sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty to driving under the influence (DUI) on Tuesday. He was one of 16 defendants to enter a guilty plea before Carbon County Judge Joseph J. Matika.

Kidder incident

Todd Fertal, 41, was arrested on May 6, 2012, along SR534 by Kidder Township police after being involved in an accident. He was found to be under the influence and was taken for a blood test, which revealed a .24BAC.

The conviction is Fertal's third. He also pleaded guilty to one count of driving while under suspension-DUI related.

Matika sentenced him to serve 12 to 60 months in the county prison on the DUI charge and 60 days in jail on the suspension count, with the terms running concurrently.

He was ordered to pay a fine of $2,500 for the DUI and $1,000 for the suspension count. Matika also ordered him to get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, zero tolerance imposed on D&A use, license suspended for 18 months for the DUI (another year will be added for the suspension charge), and render 100 hours of community service when released on parole.

He began the jail term immediately.

Other pleas

Other defendants who entered pleas included:

Roberto Giuliano Giunta, 21, of Levittown, Bucks County, and formerly of Weatherly, pleaded to two counts of DUI in two pending cases. He also pleaded to one count each of underage drinking, careless driving, and texting while driving.

The first arrest occurred on Dec. 19, 2011, along SR4006 in Banks Township after he was involved in an accident. Charged by state police at Hazleton, Giunta submitted to a blood test the revealed a .19BAC.

The second arrest, also by state police at Hazleton, occurred on July 12, 2012, along Brenkman Drive, in Packer Township, after another accident. Given a test, the result was .25BAC. In that incident he told troopers he was texting when he crashed.

Since the second incident Giunta reported he entered a inpatient rehabilitation program for 31 days. After being successfully discharged from it he entered another inpatient program in Bucks County, which he is still involved for the past five months.

On the first DUI count Matika placed him on probation for six months and ordered him to pay a fine of $300, and render 25 hours of community service. On the second DUI he was sentenced to serve 48 hours to six months in jail, a fine of $500, one year license suspension, and render another 25 hours of community service. He was given credit for two days in the rehab program and parole.

On the summary charges of underage drinking, fined $500; careless driving, $25; and texting while driving, $75.

It was noted he has a DUI charge pending in Luzerne County, which he is scheduled to plead guilty to on Thursday, Jan. 24.

Vincent Keller, 28, of Weissport, pleaded guilty in two pending cases. He pleaded to one count of criminal attempt-possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-methamphetamine in the first case. In the second case he pleaded to one count of depositing chemical waste-items used in the making of methamphetamine.

He was arrested on the depositing count on April 1, 2012, for throwing garbage bags of chemicals along SR902 in Summit Hill. The attempt count stems from a April 3, 2012, arrest by agents of the state Attorney General's office that occurred in the 100 block of S. Second St., Lehighton.

Matika deferred sentencing and ordered the adult probation office to prepare a presentence investigation (PSI) report.

John Albert Britton Jr., 60, of Leesport, Berks County, pleaded to one count of driving under the influence (DUI). He was arrested June 9, 2012, along Patterson St., in Lansford. He refused a blood test and will lose his license for a year.

Matika deferred sentencing so Britton could apply for placement in the county's Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP) with electronic monitoring.

Dale Micahel Wakefield Jr., 20, of Albrightsville, pleaded to one count of escape. He was arrested by state police at Fern Ridge for fleeing a state police cruiser after he was in custody on other criminal charges.

The incident occurred on Sept. 5, 2012, outside the county prison in Nesquehoning. Wakefield was brought to the jail by troopers. He was waiting in the cruiser as the jail was in lockdown and he could not be immediately admitted. He fled the car and ran north SR93 but was caught following a short foot chase.

Matika deferred sentencing.

Francis Constant Klush, 53, of Pittston, Luzerne County, and formerly of Lake Harmony, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on Feb. 23, 2012, by state police at Fern Ridge along SR903 in Kidder Township. He refused a blood test and will lose his license for a year.

Matika placed him on probation for six months, ordered he pay a fine of $300, get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service.

Josh D. Gutosky, 28, of Weatherly, pleaded to four counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-heroin. He was arrested on Jan. 21, 2012, in the area of 318 Plane St., Weatherly, by borough police.

Matika deferred sentencing to a later date.

Mark A. Buccieri, 24, of Tuscarora, pleaded to one count of open lewdness. He was arrested by state police at Lehighton for an incident on July 7, 2012, at a boat launch area in East Penn Township. He exposed himself to two persons in the area.

He was placed on probation for six months and ordered to render 25 hours of community service.

William Vincent Buccieri, 33, of Tuscarora, pleaded to one count of disorderly conduct, as a summary offense. He was arrested in connection with the same incident as Mark Buccieri.

He was fined $100 and costs, and ordered to make restitution of $84

Robert G. Bell III, 26, of Weatherly, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on March 22, 2012, along Buck Mountain Road, in Lausanne Township, by state police at Hazleton, after being involved in an accident. Given a test, the result was .20BAC.

Bell appeared for his court appearance wearing shorts, despite the single-digit temperatures outside. He was told the court would not permit him to appear in shorts. Bell managed to secure a pair of jeans and was then allowed in court.

Matika sentenced him to serve 48 hours to six months in jail, a fine of $500, one year license suspension, get D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, and render 25 hours of community service.

He begins the jail term on Friday, Jan. 25, at 6 p.m.

John Curtis Talley, 25, of Weatherly, pleaded to one count of simple assault. He was arrested on Dec. 10, 2012, by borough police for an incident at 118 Butz St. Police responded to a domestic incident in which Talley punched his live-in girlfriend, Shannon Shafer, in the face several times causing injuries. Talley said he and Shafer have since reconciled.

Matika placed him on probation for a year and ordered he attend and complete anger management counseling, get a mental health evaluation, and render 50 hours of community service.

Clifton Conner, 49, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count each of DUI, disorderly conduct, and restrictions on alcohol in a vehicle. He was arrested on Feb. 29, 2011, along Walnut St., by Franklin Township police. Given a test, the result was .16BAC.

Matika sentenced him to serve five days to six months in jail, a fine of $300, one year license suspension, get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, and render 25 hours of community service.

On the two summary offenses he was fined a total of $125 and costs.

Matika noted this was Conner's sixth overall DUI conviction, but the others were more that 10 years ago.

He begins the jail term on Feb. 1 at 6 p.m.

Harry G. Foerster Jr., 50, of Levittown, pleaded to one count of DUI. He was arrested on Aug. 15, 2012, along North St., in Summit Hill, after being involved in an accident. Given at test, the result was .30BAC.

He was sentenced to serve 30 days to six months in jail, a fine of $750, one year license suspension, get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, make restitution for damages of $405, and render 25 hours of community service when parole.

He began the jail term immediately.

Michael Macaluso, 32, of Nesquehoning, pleaded to three counts of access device fraud. He was arrested by Nesquehoning police for incidents on Sept. 13, 2012. He used the credit card of Ann Marie Juplin, without her permission. He purchased gas with the card and attempted to twice make purchases at the Walmart store in Hazleton, but the transactions were denied.

Matika placed him on probation for two years on each count, running concurrently, and ordered him to make restitution of $60.08 to the Mauch Chunk Trust Company bank, and render 100 hours of community service.

Scott Halechko, 41, of Weatherly, pleaded to one county of DUI. He was arrested on Sept. 23, 2012, along Buck Mountain Road by Weatherly police. Given a test, the result was .24BAC.

Matika placed him on probation for six months and ordered him to pay a fine of $300, get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, and render 25 hours of community service.

Barry L. Schlier, 32, of Lansford, pleaded to one count of receiving stolen property. He was arrested by Lansford police for an incident on April 2, 2012, when he removed a washer and dryer from the property at 343 W. Abbott St., which he was renting but was evicted. The listed victims are Merissa Zielinski and Monique Orr.

Matika deferred sentencing because of a question concerning restitution due the victims.

Each defendant sentenced must also pay court costs, which average close to $1,000, and pay a $50 per month supervision fee.