A couple who obtained painkillers illegally at an area hospital and pharmacy, was among 27 defendants in pending cases to enter guilty pleas on Tuesday before Carbon County Judge Steven R. Serfass.

Various counts

James Richard Jones, 33, and his girlfriend, Naomi Turner Ellison, 30, both of Lehighton, entered guilty pleas to several counts.

Ellison pleaded to two counts of theft by deception and one of criminal conspiracy-acquiring or obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. The pleas cover three pending cases.

Jones pleaded in four pending cases to two counts each of acquiring or obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, and theft by deception.

Police in Lehighton and Mahoning Township charged the pair with using false names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers during emergency room visits at various hospitals throughout Carbon, Lehigh, and Schuylkill counties to obtain prescriptions for pain killers.

The incidents occurred in the Carbon area on Oct. 10, 12, and 14, at the Walmart Pharmacy in the township and at the emergency room of the Blue Mountain Health Systems-Lehighton Campus.

Because of an extensive prior criminal record, Jones is facing a state prison term at the time of sentencing. Yesterday, following a hearing after his pleas were accepted, he was granted a furlough from the county jail to enter a inpatient rehabilitation program in Canton, Bradford County. When released from that program he must return to the county prison and a sentencing date will be set.

Serfass also accepted the pleas from Ellison but deferred sentencing to a later date.

Other pleas

Other defendants who entered guilty pleas included:

Jeffrey Moyer, 29, of Parryville, pleaded to one count each of criminal conspiracy to commit theft and conspiracy to commit receiving stolen property.

He was arrested by Lehighton police for his part in the illegal entry at 434 Cypress St. Also charged in that case was David Betz, 30, of Jim Thorpe. He is scheduled to enter a plea in April. This incident occurred on Feb. 4.

Taken in the entry was various jewelry items later pawned at a business in Lehighton.

On the theft count Serfass sentenced him to serve three to one day less 12 months in the county prison, and ordered him to make restitution of $240, his share, and render 100 hours of community service. On the receiving count he was placed on probation for 24 months, consecutive to the theft charge, and render another 100 hours of community service. He must also testify against Betz, if his case goes to trial.

He was given credit for 44 days spent in jail on the charges.

Lester Allen Reeser Jr., 22, of Coaldale, pleaded to one count of aggravated indecent assault. He was arrested by Lehighton police for an incident on Sept. 18, 2012. He admitted having sexual intercourse with a then 13-year-old girl.

Serfass deferred sentencing and ordered a presentence investigation (PSI) report be prepared by the adult probation office and also Reeser must submit to a sexual offenders evaluation.

Kelly Eckhart, 39, of Lehighton, pleaded to two counts each of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-marijuana, and possession.

She was arrested by state police vice unit for drug sales to an undercover officer that occurred at least four times, according to the police report. In each incident she sold one ounce of marijuana to the officer.

Serfass deferred sentencing and ordered a PSI.

Jennifer Rudelitch, 36, of Palmerton, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. She was arrested on Feb. 7, by Lehighton police for and incident at Bridge and Penn sts. She was found in possession of paraphernalia at a vehicle stop.

She is currently in the county prison serving a probation violation sentence which runs to August.

Serfass placed her on probation for a year and ordered she get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, and render 50 hours of community service when released from jail.

Anna L. Simpson, 57, of Albrightsville, pleaded to two summary counts of harassment and disorderly conduct. She was arrested by state police at Fern Ridge following an incident on July 19 when she was charged with assaulting her neighbor, Mauri Madrek. Assault and terroristic threats counts were dropped.

Serfass placed her on probation for 90 days on each count, running consecutively, and ordered she have no contact with Madrak.

Robert L. Hann, 24, of Phillipsburg, N.J., pleaded in two pending cases to two counts of retail theft. He was charged by Mahoning Township police for incidents on April 12 and 14, 2012, at the Walmart store where he stole two laptop computers on each of those dates.

Hann is currently in the Northampton County prison on other charges.

Serfass sentenced him to serve three to one day less 24 months in prison on each count, running concurrently. He must also pay total restitution to Walmart for $1,586, get a D&A evaluation, and render a total of 200 hours of community service when released on parole. He was given credit for 30 days spent in jail on the charges.

Ariane Mika, 28, of Weissport, pleaded to one count of receiving stolen property. She was arrested by Mahoning Township police for an incident at the Walmart store where she took possession of a Ipod, the property of Jack Bennett.

She was placed on probation for 18 months and ordered to render 75 hours of community service. The Ipod was reportedly recovered.

Mika was previously placed in the Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) probation program for first time offenders but was revoked for not completing all conditions.

Michael Lee Reed, 34, of Tamaqua, pleaded to one count of bad check. He was arrested by Mahoning Township police on July 7, 2011, for issuing a bad check to Used Kids Stuff for $76.32.

Reed is currently in a state prison serving a term imposed in Schuylkill County which has four more years to go. He is also facing sentencing in Schuylkill on other charges.

Serfass sentenced him to serve 18 to 36 months in a state prison, make restitution of $125.32 to the victim, and render 150 hours community service when released on parole. The prison term runs concurrent with his Schuylkill sentence.

Eric William Berger, 28, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of false identification to law enforcement. He was arrested on Nov. 11, 2012, by Lehighton police following a vehicle stop along SR443. He gave a false name to police at the stop.

He was placed on probation for a year and ordered to render 50 hours of community service.

Gemile B. Mehmeti, 25, of Coaldale, pleaded to one count of false identification to law enforcement. He was arrested by Summit Hill police on Aug. 29, 2010, following a vehicle stop at Chestnut and Hazard streets. He gave a false name.

He was placed on probation for a year and ordered to render 50 hours of community service.

He was previously placed in the ARD program but was revoked for failure to complete the conditions.

Todd Messinger, 25, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of simple assault. He was arrested on July 14, 2012, by Lehighton police for an incident at railroad trestle near the Lehigh River. He admitted assaulting Larry Moser Jr.

He was placed on probation for 24 months and ordered to render 100 hours of community service.

Tyler Scott Fritzinger, 25, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of criminal mischief. He was arrested by Franklin Township police for an incident on July 22, 2012, in which Stefanie Devine is the listed victim and occurring in the area of 101 Harrity Rd.

Serfass placed him on probation for a year and ordered restitution of $100, and render 50 hours of community service.

DUI cases

The following defendants entered guilty pleas to driving under the influence (DUI) charges.

Timothy P. Laybourn, 41, of Lehighton, was arrested on Nov. 20, 2012, at White and Forge sts., in Weissport, by state police at Lehighton. Given a test, the result showed the presence of a controlled substance.

He was sentenced 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. On a summary motor vehicle code violation he was fined $10 and costs.

He begins the jail term at 9 a.m. on April 1.

Robert Hydro, 55, of Jim Thorpe, was arrested on Oct. 14, 2012, along Center St., by Jim Thorpe police. Given a test, the result was .20BAC.

A first offense, he was placed on probation for three months, fined $300, and ordered to render 25 hours of community service.

Terri Lee Pattishall, 30, of Whitehall, was arrested on Dec. 22, 2012, along Bankway, by Lehighton police. Given a test, the result was .19BAC.

She was placed on probation for six months, fined $300, ordered to get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service.

Jordan Michael Tessitore, 21, of Lansford, was arrested on Aug. 9, 2012, along Mahoning Drive by Mahoning Township police. Given a test, the result showed the presence of a controlled substance.

He was sentenced 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.

On two summary motor vehicle code violations he was fined a total of $50 and costs.

Ronald Klotz, 52, of Lehighton, was arrested on June 7, 2012, along Spring Hill Road by Mahoning Township police. He refused a test and will lose his license for a year for the refusal.

Serfass sentenced him to serve 90 days to five years in jail, a fine of $1,500, 18 month license suspension, get a D&A evaluation, and render 100 hours of community service.

He will serve the first 30 days in jail followed by 60 days in the county's Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP) with electronic monitoring.

He begins the jail term at 5 p.m. on March 29 and will serve it on 15 consecutive weekends.

Alberto Carlos Amorim, 38, of Palmerton, was arrested on Nov. 22, 2012, along First St., by Lehighton police. Given a test, the result was .17BAC.

He was placed on probation for six months, fined $300, ordered to get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service.

Rock-Eagle Acevedo, 27, Jim Thorpe, was arrested on Sept. 29, 2012, along Spring Hill Road by Mahoning Township police. Given a test, the result was .10BAC.

He was placed on probation for six months, fine $300, ordered to get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service.

Adam Parke Zook, 45, of Albrightsville, was arrested on Nov. 1, 2012, along Old Stage Road, in Penn Forest Township, by state police at Fern Ridge. Given a test, the result was .26BAC.

Serfass placed him on probation for six months, fined $300, ordered to get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service.

Ricky Lamar Mcfarland, 55, of Pompano, Fla., was arrested on April 8, 2011, along Park St., in Weissport, by state police at Lehighton. Given a test, the result was .13BAC.

Sentencing was deferred so Mcfarland could apply for the IPP.

Ryan T. Miller, 30, of Tamaqua, was arrested on Jan. 5 along SR248 in Parryville by state police at Lehighton. Given a test, the result was .10BAC.

He was placed on probation for six months, fined $300, ordered to get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service.

John Albert David, 41, of Palmerton, was arrested on Aug. 24, 2012, along Little Gap Road, in Lower Towamensing Township, by state police at Lehighton. Given a test, the result was .13BAC. He also pleaded to driving under suspension-DUI related.

On the DUI charge Serfass sentenced him to serve 10 days to five years in jail, a fine of $500, one year license suspension, and render 100 hours of community service.

On the suspension count he was sentenced to serve 90 days in jail, a fine of $1,000, and another year suspension. The jail terms run concurrently.

He will begin the jail term at 9 a.m. on March 29.

John Ermlick, 28, of Palmerton, was arrested on Dec. 22, 2012, along Delaware Avenue in Palmerton, by state police at Lehighton. Given a test, the result was .29BAC.

He was sentenced to serve 90 days to five years in jail, a fine of $1,500, 18 month license suspension, get a D&A evaluation, and render 100 hours of community service.

He will begin the jail term at 9 a.m. on April 1 and was granted work release privileges.

Ronald Scott Gould, 44, of Lehighton, was arrested on Nov. 30, 2012, along Bank St., in Franklin Township, by state police at Lehighton. Given a test, the result was .16BAC.

Serfass placed him on probation for six months, ordered to pay a fine of $300, get a D&A evaluation, and render 25 hours of community service. On two summary motor vehicle code violations he was fined a total of $35 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.