A Palmerton man pleaded guilty to drug dealing in Carbon County court on Thursday and was sentenced to a long county jail term. He was one of five persons who entered pleas before President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II in pending drug cases.

Joshua Lee Kresge, 29, pleaded to one count of criminal attempt-possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a felony.

Kresge was arrested by agents of the state attorney general's office and Palmerton police on Jan. 26 along SR248 at the east on-ramp following a vehicle stop. Police said the arrest was part of an ongoing investigation of drug trafficking in the area.

Police had Kresge under surveillance and used a confidential informant (CI) to arrange the purchase of heroin. Kresge was given $285 by the CI for the purchase. Found in the vehicle when he was stopped were 14 packets of the drug.

Kresge told Nanovic he had a long history of drug addiction, which he is trying to address while an inmate at the county prison. Nanovic noted Kresge has prior arrests involving illegal drugs.

Nanovic sentenced him to serve 21 to 48 months in prison. He was also ordered to get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee, zero tolerance on D&A use and was granted work release privileges. Nanovic gave him credit for 204 days spent in jail to date on the charge.

Other drug cases

Other defendants in drug cases who entered pleas included:

Johnathon Nicholas Maury, 22, of Lehighton, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal conspiracy-to deliver a controlled substance-heroin.

He was arrested in October 2009 for his part in a drug trafficking and burglary ring operating in several counties in the area including Carbon, Monroe, Lehigh, Schuylkill and Northampton.

Police said Maury was a subdealer as part of the corrupt drug organization. Police said the ring committed numerous burglaries and thefts to sell the stolen items to get money to purchase drugs and then sell the drugs.

Maury admitted to a drug addiction problem and said he was not paid any money for his part in the ring but was given heroin to feed his habit. He also said he had gone through a rehabilitation program since his arrest.

At the time of his arrest on the instant case he was on parole on another drug case.

Nanovic sentenced him to serve six to 18 months in the county prison on the charge and said it runs consecutive to the one to 12 months term imposed on the other drug case.

Maury was also ordered to get a D&A evaluation, supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee, and render three hours of community service per month while on parole. He was given credit for 44 days spent in jail on the charge and will begin the prison term on Jan. 11 at 9 a.m.

Bradford Begel, 49, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-methamphetamine.

Begel was arrested on Jan. 21 by agents of the AG office and local police after selling a quantity of meth to a CI along the 100 block of Bridge St. in Lehighton.

Nanovic sentenced him to serve six to 12 months in the county prison. He was also ordered to get a D&A evaluation, render three hours of community service per month while on parole and zero tolerance imposed on D&A use. He begins the jail term on Feb. 7 at 9 a.m.

Daniel J. Thorpe, 25, of Nesquehoning, pleaded to one count of criminal attempt-to acquire a controlled substance by fraud. He was arrested on July 12 by Lehighton police for an incident at the Rite Aid pharmacy. Thorpe presented a forged prescription for oxycodone at the store.

Nanovic sentenced him to serve three to 12 months in the county prison. He was also ordered to get a D&A evaluation, supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee and zero tolerance on D&A use. He begins the jail term at 9 a.m. on Jan. 10. He was given credit for two days spent in jail on the charge.

Tara M. McFarland, 37, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of possession of a controlled substance-heroin. She was arrested on Feb. 8, 2009, in the area of Hazard Square in Jim Thorpe, by borough police.

Police responded to the area after a local businessman called the county communications center to report the suspected drug activity in his business.

McFarland was identified as one of the persons involved but had left the business before police arrived. They were supplied a description of her and found her in the area. Found on her were packages of heroin and needles.

She told police she purchased 14 packs of heroin in the business place and injected two packs before the arrival of police.

McFarland was previously placed in the county's Accelerated Rehabilitation (ARD) probation program for first time offenders but was revoked from it.

McFarland told Nanovic she has been drug free for two years and is currently receiving counseling weekly for her problem.

Nanovic placed her on probation for a year and ordered she get a D&A evaluation, zero tolerance imposed on D&A use, supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee, and render five hours of community service per month while on probation. She was given credit for two days spent in jail on the charge.

Each defendant must also pay court costs and a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.