Several defendants, including two who were part of a drug trafficking operation, entered guilty pleas in Carbon County court on Tuesday. Seven persons facing drug charges appeared before Senior Judge Richard W. Webb to enter the pleas.
Jason Michael Seekins, 34, and Melissa Ann Oriel, 36, both of 232 W. Ridge St., Coaldale, pleaded guilty to drug counts. Both were part of a drug trafficking operation dealing drugs in the county.
Oriel pleaded to one count of criminal use of a communication facility, a felony three, and Seekins one count of corrupt organizations, also a felony.
Agents of the state Attorney General's office conducted an undercover operation which also included Lehigh County of a cocaine traffcking operation. In February AG agents along with state police and local police round up about nine persons and charged them as part of the ring. Seekins and Oriel are the latest members of the ring to enter pleas.
Oriel was charged with using a cellular phone to make arrangements for the sale of cocaine to an undercover agent. Seekins was charged with being part of the operation and an "employee" in the drug selling.
Webb deferred sentencing and ordered the adult probation office prepare a presentence investigation (PSI) for both defendants.
Other defendants in pending drug cases who entered pleas included:
Christian Ortiz, 19, of Allentown, pleaded to one count of criminal conspiracy-delivery a controlled substance-heroin. He was arrested on March 25, 2009, along the 1200 block of Front St. in Jim Thorpe.
He was one of four arrested, all from Allentown, who came to the borough to make a drug sale. Ortiz was a Honda vehicle that stopped to make a sale to a confidential informant (CI).
As police moved in the driver fled. After a short chase the four were rounded up and arrested. Ortiz is the latest of the four to plead guilty in the case.
Webb deferrerd sentencing and ordered a PSI.
David J. Gould, 21, of Schnecksville, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested on Feb. 12 along the Northeast Extension of the turnpike in Penn Forest Township. He was stopped for speeding, 80 miles-per-hour in a 65 zone, and during the stop drug paraphernalia was found in the vehicle.
Webb placed him on probation for a year and ordered a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation. On the speeding charge he was fined $62.50 and costs.
Joseph Lewis Moyer Sr., 57, of Lansford, pleaded to one count of possession of a controlled substance-heroin. He was arrested on Feb. 12 by agents of the AG office at First and Iron sts., in Lehighton, during a controlled buy. Found on him were four packets of heroin.
Webb deferred sentencing and ordered a PSI.
Ashley Ann Allesch, 20, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. She was arrested on Jan. 27, 2009, in the area of 127 Iron St. She had in her possession a glass pipe used to smoke marijuana.
Webb placed her on probation for a year and ordered a D&A evaluation.
Keith Alan Johnson, 22, of Summit Hill, pleaded to one count each of possession of drug paraphernalia and harassment, as a summary offense. He was arrested on July 3, 2009, at his residence when police responded to another complaint involving Linda Ehleng as the victim. Found on him was a marijuana pipe.
Johnson has been in the county prison for the past 159 days being held on the instant count and also a detainer filed by Lehigh County for a parole/probation violation.
Webb placed him on probation for 90 days on the drug count and imposed a fine of $100 on the harassment charge.
All defendants sentenced must pay court costs and a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.