A Schuylkill County couple were sentenced on Thursday on drug dealing charges - he to a county prison term and she to house arrest.
Desire Nicole Devers, 24, and Christopher Robert Devers, 26, of Coaldale, appeared before Judge Joseph J. Matika for sentencing on one count each of criminal conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance-heroin.
Christopher Devers was sentenced to serve six to 12 months in the county prison while his wife was given a break by the court and placed in the county's Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP), for a year with the first 90 days on electronic monitoring. Under state sentencing guidelines she could have been sentenced to a minimum of three months in jail.
Matika said he was giving Mrs. Devers the IPP rather than jail because of her and her husband's cooperation with authorities after their arrest. He also noted that the arrests were first-time adult criminal charges against the two.
The two were arrested on Aug. 1, 2012, by agents of the state Attorney General's office following the sale of heroin to a confidential informant (CI) in the area of 40 E. Amidon St., Summit Hill. When taken into custody Mrs. Devers admitted having 100 bags of heroin in their home and over $4,000 in cash gain from the sales.
Defense Attorney Kim Marie Christie told Matika Mrs. Devers is unable to work due to a health problem and her husband had lost his job at the time. She said they sold the heroin to make money for themselves and were not drug users. Christie added that Devers recently secured a job with a relative.
In addition to the jail time Christopher Devers was ordered to render 50 hours of community service when released on parole, supply and DNA sample, and was granted work release privileges. His prison term will begin at 9 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 30.
Mrs. Devers was ordered to render 50 hours of community service and supply a DNA sample. Her placement in the IPP won't begin until Oct. 11 because she will be supervised by Schuylkill County adult probation office personnel, who can't accept her to their program until then.
Both have to pay court costs, which average close to $1,000 each, and each must pay a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.