A Carbon County man was sentenced to a county prison term on Thursday after previously pleading guilty to drug deal. Another county resident pleaded to three counts of driving under the influence (DUI) and is facing a jail term when sentenced.
The two were among five defendants in pending criminal cases to appear before Judge Joseph J. Matika.
John Charles Sabol, 50, 221 E. Bertsch St., of Lansford, was sentenced to serve a total of eight to one day less 24 months in prison on two counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-heroin. He previously pleaded guilty to the charges. The jail term will be followed by two years of probation.
Sabol was arrested after Lansford police served a search warrant on his residence on Aug. 9, 2012. Police had conducted an extensive investigation that spanned several months which involved Sabol and the possession and selling of heroin from his home.
Police received numerous complaints about heavy foot and vehicular traffic near the home. Sgt. Det. Jack Soberick and Officer Timothy Wuttke filed the charges.
Sabol told Matika that he sold the drugs to feed his own heroin habit. He claimed he has been addicted to drugs for many years.
Police also claimed that Sabol was distributing drugs to numerous buyers and handling thousands of dollars in money in the drug deals. Sabol denied that, stating he had nine or 10 regular customers and the sales only involved hundreds of dollars.
Matika said a message had to be sent out to the public that such conduct will not be tolerated. He said he had at least three defendants involved in heroin over the past year that have since died because of their drug use.
In addition to the jail term Sabol was ordered to render a total of 100 hours of community service when released on parole, get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, zero tolerance imposed on D&A use, must supply a DNA sample, and make total restitution of $440 for the money used in undercover buys by confidential informant (CI) used by the police.
He was given credit for a total of 49 days spent in jail on the charges.
A request to delay the start of his jail term until Monday was denied by Matika who ordered him immediately remanded to the county prison.
Matthew Luke Leonard Sr., 45, of Pottsville, was sentenced on a DUI count, a count of driving under suspension-DUI related, and false identification to law enforcement.
Leonard was arrested on Dec. 3, 2011, by Summit Hill police. He refused to take a blood test. At the stop he gave a false ID.
On the DUI count, Matika sentenced him to serve 90 days to 60 months in prison, a fine of $1,500, license suspended for 18 months, get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, and render 100 hours of community service when released on parole.
On the suspension count he was sentenced to serve 60 days in jail and a fine of $500, with the term consecutive to the DUI charge.
On the false ID he was sentenced to serve one to 12 months in jail, concurrent to the other charges. He was given credit for 53 days spent in jail to date on the charges and was returned to the prison.
Neil Brian Kennedy, 55, of Lansford, pleaded guilty to three counts of DUI.
He was arrested on Nov. 26, 2011, along SR209 by Lansford police. Given a test, the result was .24BAC. The second arrest occurred on Sept. 4, 2011, along Bertsch St., by Lansford police. Given a test, the result was .29BAC. The third arrest occurred on Feb. 7, 2012, along Ridge St., by Lansford police. Given a test, the result was .07BAC.
Kennedy failed to appear for a prior plea hearing on May 23 and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. Yesterday Matika dismissed the warrant with the costs to be paid by Kennedy.
Kennedy is facing a mandatory jail term on each count.
He also entered a plea to accidents involving damage to a vehicle for the Feb. 7 incident. He struck a vehicle at the state liquor store in Lansford and fled the scene.
Matika deferred sentencing at the request of Kennedy, who said he was trying to get into a inpatient rehabilitation program.
Felicia Bigg-Carr, 22, of Lansford, pleaded in three pending cases.
She pleaded to one count of simple assault for an incident on Aug. 23, 2011. Lansford police responded to a reported domestic incident at 503 Lansford Court. Bigg-Carr admitted assaulting Derrick Hunsicker.
She pleaded to one count of criminal trespass, as a felony two, for an incident on Aug. 9, 2012, at the home of her mother, in Lansford. She broke a kitchen window to gain entry and stole rare coins and other currency from the home.
She pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia for an incident on Aug. 10, 2012, at the county prison. She was at the prison on the trespass count and being processed when drug paraphernalia was found on her.
She previously pleaded to another count of drug possession. She was arrested on that charge on July 27 by Franklin Township police for an incident in the area of 1380 Interchange Road.
She spent five months in the Salvation Army rehab program but was removed from it.
She was sentenced to serve a total of 60 days to one year in jail followed by one year of probation on all counts. Matika also ordered she render a total of 100 hours of community service when released, get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance on D&A use, make restitution of $300 to her mother, and supply a DNA sample.
She was given credit for 155 days spent to jail to date on the charges and was immediately paroled.
Noah J. Sweitzer, 32, of White Haven, pleaded to one count of possession of a controlled substance-heroin.
He was arrested on Aug. 31, 2012, along E. Main St., by Weatherly police following a traffic stop. Found in the vehicle was 20 baggies of heroin.
Sweitzer told Matika since his arrest he spent 28 days in a inpatient rehab program and continues in a after care counseling program.
Matika placed him on probation for a year and ordered he render 50 hours of community service, get a D&A evaluation, and zero tolerance imposed on D&A use.
On a summary speeding charge he was fined $57 and costs.
Each defendant sentenced must also pay court costs, which average about $1,000, and pay a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.